Another Amman Attack? UK Closes Embassy?

Britain closed its embassy in Jordan on Saturday because of fears of attacks on Westerners but Jordanian authorities said the closure was unnecessary

The move comes two months after triple suicide bomb attacks on luxury hotels in Amman killed more than 50 people. Al Qaeda in
Iraq, led by Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility.

Last August, militants linked to Zarqawi were accused by Jordan of being behind a failed rocket attack on U.S. warships in the Red Sea port of Aqaba.

“Terrorists may be in the final stages of planning attacks against Westerners and places frequented by Westerners,” the British Foreign Office Web site said.

“The British Embassy in Amman will be closed until further notice due to the security situation.”

Britain is a prime target for its support for the U.S-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Jordanian officials said security authorities who assessed an undisclosed threat received by the British embassy had concluded the closure was unnecessary.

“In this particular case the security authorities after assessing the threat concluded that it did not warrant the closure of the embassy,” Nasser Joudeh, government spokesman told Reuters.

Joudeh said this was not intended to belittle a threat to a diplomatic mission.

“Any threat is not taken lightly,” he added.

Joudeh said the authorities had taken extra security measures to protect the embassy compound in the affluent Abdoun neighborhood of Amman where many Western missions are based.

“At the same time security arrangements around the embassy were reinforced and the government again reiterates whether there is a threat or not it is concerned with providing the utmost protection to diplomatic missions,” Joudeh said.

Officials say Islamist militants are seeking to destabilize Jordan because of its pro-western stance. Amman’s support for the U.S. led invasion of Iraq angered many Jordanians.

A spokesman at the Foreign Office said its advice to British travelers to Jordan remained unchanged, but there was sufficient reason to close the mission temporarily.

“We can’t comment on any intelligence we may have or the specific nature of the threat,” he said.

The travel advice to Britons going to Jordan is to take precautions to ensure their personal safety and be aware there could be developments that may affect the security situation.

Visitors are warned to take extra care when using Jordanian taxis to go to neighboring countries.

About 51,000 British nationals visited Jordan in 2004, mainly as tourists, and most visits were trouble-free. [source] & [statement]

Threats aside, I really believe all these embassies should be removed and just relocated to the outskirts of Amman. Build them somewhere in the desert and just encircle them with security.

I never saw the sense in putting embassies (especially the frikin US and UK ones) right in the smack middle of residential areas and surrounding them with police. People in those areas have to deal with armed tanks and road bumps and even slowing down in your car means trouble. They are seeking protection from the nearby homes however if something were to happen these people would no doubt be affected. Whether or not something does in fact happen and is successful God forbid, this kind of news is bound to make people in that area feel insecure and worried.

But I wonder where the Brits get their information from? I find it hard to believe that they’d know about something before the Jordanian mukhabarat would. Perhaps this news is based on external information, like in Iraq.

“No I’m not really a terrorist! I’m just sick of this life! And whether good or bad I want a visa to Britain!”


  • So this is why we got a flurry of emails from family about new terrorist attacks. There has been buzz at the State Dept something big was up.

    Actually, Nas, the US Embassy was out in the middle of nowhere when they built it. Why anyone would want to create a community around it, I don’t know. But, they have a nice pool when we get invited. 🙂

  • kinzi, actually there were homes in that area and it was more or less residential in location as my family lives there. the old one used to be on the 3rd circle and had a fire. i believe it is where the carleton hotel is now.

  • Nas, yes, there were some homes, but it was pretty empty compared to now. We had to walk from the Embassy almost to 5th circle to get a taxi once. Your family obviously didn’t get a choice to have such a dangerous neighbor, but everyone building afterward did. Sorry we have intruded so massively on your hood!

    It must’ve been hard to leave 3rd circle as a kid.

    We got another warden message from the Embassy today…anyone know what is going on?

  • Maybe its the english and their stooges planning some of these attaacks. Do not forget some english soldiers were caught in a car in Iraq dressed in arab clothing with a load of explosives. They were arrested by the Iraqi police. The english were not not happy about that and stormed the police station killed a few iraqis to release their compatriots. . Ashamed to ne englsh and believe Tony liar (blair ) and Bush should be put on trial.

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