Results tagged “Jordan”
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Imprisoned radical cleric Abu Qatada issued a 21-page statement calling the Islamic State's "caliphate" void and accusing IS emir Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi of heresy. Protests organized by the Muslim Brotherhood were held in Amman and Irbid, denouncing Israel's Gaza offensive.
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.
Concerned about events in Iraq, Jordan has reportedly deployed some 40,000 troops along its eastern and northeastern borders with Iraq and Syria to prevent ISIS and Al Nusrah Front fighters from entering Jordan. The State Security Court charged the owner and 13 journalists of the Amman-based Iraqi satellite TV station Al-Abasiya with inciting terrorism.
Authorities dismissed a Free Syrian Army claim that Jordanian soldiers killed a child in an exchange of fire with the FSA. About 2,000 Al Nusrah Front fighters are said to be active in southern Syria near the Golan Heights and Jordan's northern border, where they operate checkpoints across the Hauran plain. The government said it will continue to prohibit Syrians without valid residency permits on board flights to Jordan unless their tickets show they are merely transiting through Jordan. Members of a liberal dissenting faction of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood met near Irbid to discuss possible reforms.
The organizers of the 20-nation "Eager Lion 2014" military exercise, which is currently underway, said that no Israeli troops are involved and no chemical weapons are being used in the training. About 7,500 US troops are currently in Jordan, of whom 6,000 are engaged in Eager Lion. After several US government personnel were chased by assailants on May 20 in Mafraq governornate near the Iraq border, the US Embassy warned American citizens to avoid the area.
The state security court sentenced 10 "jihadists" to jail terms of two-and-a-half years each for trying to enter Syria to join radical groups such as the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. Security forces arrested 158 suspects in Maan after the shooting of five gendarmes there last week.
Security forces are looking for 19 suspects in Maan, where clashes with security forces have been ongoing since a man was killed during an attack on police last week. Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood dismissed three of its members for taking part in the national "Zamzam" initiative, which seeks to promote national unity through dialogue.
Jordanian authorities reportedly released convicted terrorist Mohamed al Dersi in exchange for Jordanian diplomat Fawaz Al Aytan, who was kidnapped in Libya, presumably by Ansar al Sharia. Al Dersi is said to be already in Libya, but al Aytan has not yet been freed. Authorities are trying to stem the flow of Jordanian jihadists to and from Syria, amid reports that some 2,000 Jordanians are fighting there and about 300 have returned in the past two months. "Outlaws" tossed petrol bombs in Maan, where one person was killed and five policemen were injured in clashes this week.
Four Jordanian fighter jets hit and destroyed a number of vehicles entering Jordan from Syria that were believed to be carrying Syrian rebel fighters. Syrian state media said the vehicles were not from its army.
Abed Shihadeh a.k.a. Abu Mohammed Al Tahawi, a hardline Islamist leader on trial with over 60 other Salafi Jihadists for inciting violence in April 2011, challenged the court's authority and asked to be freed on bail. Over 700 Syrian refugees entered Jordan in the past 48 hours. Border guards foiled an attempt on April 5 to smuggle "huge caches of light and medium weapons and explosives" into Jordan from Syria. On April 2, the State Security Court sentenced eight terrorists in a 2004 plot by Azmi al Jayousi, a Jordanian al Qaeda operative who planned to kill at least 80,000 people with toxic chemicals; six received life terms and two others were sentenced to 15 years each.
Border guards arrested four people who illegally entered Jordan from Syria, and wounded four more in a clash at the border. Authorities said three other people who had been fighting with groups in Syria voluntarily surrendered upon entering Jordan. Over 760 refugees crossed over at illegal entry points into Jordan from Syria in the past 48 hours. King Abdullah urged Lebanese parties to stop intervening in Syria.
Interior Minister Majali said that terrorism presents the greatest threat to the Arab world, and urged his Arab counterparts to cooperate on the issue. Parliament's lower house sought to expel the Israeli ambassador and recall Jordan's envoy to Tel Aviv in protest against the killing of a Jordanian judge last week, and voted for the early release of a Jordanian soldier who murdered seven Israeli girls in 1997.
Israeli security forces killed Raed Zuaiter, a Palestinian judge working in Jordan, at the Jordan river crossing into the West Bank, in an altercation. The parliament is considering a revised antiterrorism bill that makes it a crime to fight with, or seek to join, radical groups. Mohammad al-Shalabi a.k.a. Abu Sayyaf, a Jordanian Salafist leader, criticized the bill as "amending the law to classify some 2,000 young people who are fighting [in Syria] as terrorists" so they could be sent to prison. Officials began closing illegal crossing points from Deraa in Syria into al-Ramtha.
Some 120 Islamist prisoners, including extremist cleric Abu Qatada, began a hunger strike to protest conditions of their detention. Two days ago, Qatada threatened to boycott his retrial on terrorism charges. Over the past several months, Jordanian authorities have arrested scores of jihadists trying to travel to Syria.
During his retrial on terror charges, extremist cleric Abu Qatada said al Qaeda's two branches in Syria, the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, should stop infighting and offer "unequivocal submissiveness" to al Qaeda's emir. "Our brave Jihadists in Syria should unite their ranks and be obedient to Dr. Ayman to prevail in the war," he stated. Qatada also pled not guilty and castigated the judge. Shadi Al Bazayaah, a longtime Salafi jihadist, has reportedly been killed while fighting for Al Nusrah in Syria. Amman resident Mustafa Khater was sentenced to five years in prison for links to Al Nusrah. An estimated 2,000 Jordanian jihadists are said to be fighting in Syria, and about 80 percent of them are fighting alongside Al Nusrah.
Extremist cleric Abu Qatada pled not guilty to terrorism charges, and challenged the authority of the court. He was previously tried and sentenced in absentia by Jordan in 1999 and 2000, but has a right to retrial while present. After a brief hearing, the judge adjourned the trial until Dec. 24. Yesterday a court sentenced a Jordanian man to five years' hard labor for illegally entering Syria and fighting there.
The trial of radical cleric Abu Qatada has been set for Dec. 10. Qatada was extradited from Britain in July to face terrorism charges stemming from plots against Westerners in Jordan over a decade ago. The army said over 1,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the past 72 hours. The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood plans to try three founders of the reformist Zamzam splinter group in an internal shura council court.