Results tagged “Jordan”
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Maher Rahhal, the head of the Syrian rebel group Liwa al-Mujahideen Brigade, was shot dead in Amman by two Syrian suspects in an alleged "family feud." Authorities discussed how to calm tensions between police and residents in Maan, said to be a hotbed of Islamist activity. A government spokesman reiterated Jordan's intention not to host training for Syrian rebels.
Jordan is reluctant to host an expanded US program to train and equip Syrian rebels. On July 9, Jordanian soldiers fired at and wounded three Islamic State gunmen who were trying to cross into Jordan from Syria for medical treatment; jihadist sources say about 2,200 Jordanians are fighting in the ranks of Islamist rebels in Syria, mostly with the Islamic State. Officials said Arabs from Syria, Egypt, and Iraq make up about 2.4 million, or nearly a third, of Jordan's 9 million population. Jordan continues to denounce Israel's Gaza offensive.
Over the past week, two rallies in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham were held in Maan, the first such public demonstrations for the group in Jordan. Salafi jihadist leader Mohammad Shalabi a.k.a. Abu Sayyaf reportedly convinced the ISIS demonstrators to tone down their activities. Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups have in the past been allowed to operate in Jordan, ostensibly so authorities can monitor and infiltrate them. Authorities recently said the country's borders are secure, and denied reports that ISIS had taken over the strategic Turaibil crossing into Iraq.
Iraq asked Jordan to support the Maliki government's fight against Sunni insurgents; Jordan expressed concern but said it does not interfere in Iraq's affairs. Al Qaeda-linked cleric Abu Qatada was acquitted of a charge of conspiracy to commit terrorism; he faces another trial in September for allegedly planning terrorist acts in Jordan in 2000. The UK said Qatada, who was deported in 2013, is barred from returning to Britain. While in prison, Qatada managed to issue statements on the feud between the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. Abu Sayyaf a.k.a. Mohammad Al Shalabi, the main spokesman for al Qaeda's branch in Jordan, has said his group has nearly 2,000 jihadists in Syria; he also claims to lead some 5,000 Salafi jihadist followers in Jordan. Another Jordanian Islamist leader, Saad al Huneiti, has been in Syria trying to broker a truce between ISIS and Al Nusrah.