Jordan has foiled a planned suicide bomb attack on “a vital civilian installation,” official state-run media has reported.
Two Iraqis and a Libyan, believed to be members of the al-Qaeda terror network, have been arrested in connection with the plot, Petra news agency reported.
Police are said to be hunting several other militants, including a Saudi Arabian and three Iraqis.
In November 2005, 54 people died in a triple hotel bomb attack by al-Qaeda.
Jordanian government spokesman Nasser Judeh said the militants had planned to attack a “vital civilian facility” in the capital in Amman, but he refused to give further details about the nature of the target.
Mr Judeh told the Associated Press that police had made the arrests after gaining new intelligence.
State-run TV showed photographs of the three detained men, along with images showing automatic rifles and bomb making materials.
“The intelligence services seized 4kg (8.8lb) of heavy explosives,” a statement from an unnamed security official read out on state TV said.
Jordan has clamped down on Islamic extremists in the wake of last November’s deadly bomb attacks on three hotels in Amman, which were carried out by al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Correspondents say that before the attacks the group’s leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi appeared to enjoy a certain sympathy in some sections of Jordanian opinion, but that November’s attacks eroded that sympathy very sharply. [source]
The government said three militants were arrested — a Libyan national, Mohammad Darsi, 25, who was to be the suicide bomber, and two Iraqis — Muhsen al-Lousi, 34, and Abdul Karim al-Jumaili,48, who gave him logistical support.
They had been under surveillance by the security forces. The circumstances and exact timing of their arrest was not revealed.
Three Iraqis and a Saudi militant known as Turki Nasser Abdullah, 25, were part of the plot and were believed to be in hiding in an undisclosed neighboring country, state television said.
A security source told Reuters they had leads to indicate the four fugitives were in a secret hideaway in Syria.
…Those arrested would go on trial at the state security court soon, a security source said. The source said they had undergone detailed interrogation. [source]
It’s been a very busy day for Jordan, particularly the security forces. The nation has a lot to be thankful for I think. Not only did the prison riots led by AlQueda members end “well” so to speak, but an attack on a civilian target by other AlQueda members was stopped.
Kudos to our security forces, that’s all I can say really.
UPDATE: Thursday 2nd 2006
The General Intelligence Department (GID) late Wednesday arrested a fourth suspect in connection with a foiled suicide attack on vital civilian installation, an official said on Thursday. The official said Iraqi Saad Fakhri Younis Nueimi, 40, who was out of the country, gave important confessions, adding that the GID was still interrogating the suspect and searching for a Saudi and two Iraqi fugitives in connection with the terror plot