AMMAN Ã¢?? Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher said Thursday that security measures will be intensified throughout the Kingdom with new equipment to be installed in all major hotels and public buildings.
“We plan to install metal detectors and other advanced security equipment in hotels, banks and major governmental and nongovernmental institutions,” Muasher told The Jordan Times.
The government spokesperson said that metal detectors would be installed in hotels within the coming days.
“The metal detectors are already in the airport and should be placed in hotels within the next two days. We have ordered more machines to cover other major institutions,” Muasher added.
….“These strict security measures on hotels will be applied until we make sure that these premises are no longer targeted,” Muasher said.
….Muasher pointed out that Jordan had one of the best records in terms of combating terrorism but “that does not mean that such suicide operations could be prevented.”
“It is not easy to apprehend someone who wants to blow himself/herself up, but what is important for us now is to learn from this lesson to prevent such incidents from occurring again in Jordan,” he added.
“This is an isolated incident and we remain confident that we can prevent suicide attacks in Jordan in the future. We will also work to ensure that business will go as usual in Jordan,” Muasher said. [article]
I have to agree with some of Muasher’s points here, it’s not easy stopping suicide bombers. Intelligence gathering requires time, patience and resources, it’s not something out of 24 with Jack Bauer running around playing hero. Bombs and other types of attacks stand a much better chance of being prevented than a person who runs into a lobby all of a sudden. One takes a lot more physical planning.
However these hotels should have all had metal detectors to begin with and puting them in now is the obvious first move, also the simplest. Jordan has been hit and it’s not likely to be the last time it’s threatened.
For those of you who have been to Jordan within the past year or two can make some sort of guess at what the security in Amman is going to look like from now on based on the past. To those have not been to Amman, well since the Iraqi war the security has been everywhere. Checkpoints and police patrols are a regular fixture of Amman. So Security is going to be take to a whole new level.
Ironically I’m reminded of people who were a little peeved last summer when the World Economic Forum was being hosted and Jordanian Police were checking all the cars of citizens inside out before letting them get near the hotel. I’m guessing those people won’t have any complaints next time around.
There was chatter a few weeks ago about possible changes in the government. The King does have a way of disasemmbling all the makeshift governments and replacing them with new ones whenever they screw up. This was most evident after Jordan’s disasterous month in foreign relations in March of this year. Most notably the chief of inteligence was changed.
Now while these attacks indicate a failure on some level in the intelligence community (keeping in mind what was said in the first paragraph) I’m guessing there won’t be any changes any time soon. First of all, out of the need to keep a sense of unity and security for the citizens; a radical government change is not the message of “everything’s ok” you want to send to Jordanians, especially in a country where people think rising sugar prices involves some massive top-government-level conspiracy. Second, it’s the wrong message to send to the world for similar reasons stated in my ‘first of all’, especially with regards to tourists and foreign investors.
But more importantly (my ‘third of all’) it is definitly the wrong message to send to AlQueda and all terrorists seeking to harm Jordan. Rest assured they are paying close attention to the reactions in Jordan; if anyone has noticed Zarqawi has released more than one letter justifying the attacks, possibly taken aback from the massive anger on the Jordanian street focused on him and not as he was expecting, the Jordanian government. A change in the government would indicate some level of success in causing signigicant political damage in Jordan. This is something along the lines of the Madrid bombings and the outcome of elections soon after.