Jordan says it has arrested several members of the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, who it says were planning to carry out attacks in the country.
The detainees had received instructions from a Hamas military leader in Syria and were in the final stages of planning, a government spokesman said.
The Palestinian group rejected the allegations as “outright brazen lies”.
…Jordanian government spokesman Nasser Joudeh declined to disclose the identities of the suspects or the Syria-based Hamas military leader, saying the investigation was ongoing. Mr Joudeh said Jordanian security forces had been shadowing attempts to bring in arms from a neighbouring country for a long period of time.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the allegations were “false and groundless” and accused the Jordanian government of taking part in an international campaign against the Palestinian people and Hamas [BBC]
From another source today…
The interrogation of one of the suspects had led to the discovery of more arms, including missiles and explosives, in a town of northern Jordan. The would-be assailants had been carrying out surveillance operations in the area.
“These arms were seized after those arrested showed us the location of the cache. The operation was carried out in the presence of the prosecutor in the state security court,” he said.
The government spokesman said that further arrests were made and other suspects were on the run.
…Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday called “dangerous and surprising” the discovery in Jordan of the cache of weapons, which Amman believes were smuggled in from Syria.
“The information I received from Jordan’s prime minister and intelligence chief is dangerous and surprising at the same time,” Abbas said after meeting Prime Minister Maaruf Bakhit.
[Middle East Times]
According to Al-Ghad newspaper some of the arms discovered included TNT and C4 explosives. Apparently the plans to target certain places and people have come by way of the Hamas franchise based in Syria.
Nas: it seems the government has been given a carte blanche after Abbas’ visit to Jordan to escalate with Hamas. The governmnet has also responded to the criticism of the people in Jordan by running forward towards more trouble instead of killing the story.
Many people complained about an element in society that was trying to cause a division in the Jordanian scene between the various components. It seems we found this 5th column elements – sadly, it turned out it is the government itself.
So far the government has made claims, and there is no independent body to verify them. We certainly miss the independent jurisdiction branch (with the independent investigative branch it usually has, like the FBI). How are we going to believe the government if Hamas still denies?
It seems the government decided to establish truth by repeating what many see as a lie over and over again until people believe it. It is also insisting on shifting the burden of proof on the accused (Hamas). We should remind the government here that unless we see verifiable proof of a Hamas involvement, it will remain an unverifiable (and more to the side of unbelievable) claim.
Find the culprit based on a calculation of who has an interest in smuggling weapons, Hamas has everything to lose and nothing to gain from opening a theater of operations to Jordan. The government of Jordan has however, everything to gain – least of which sympathy from the people, something it seems to be dangerously lacking after a series of confrontations with the people on fuel prices, inflation…etc.
The government also stands to win from this by painting Hamas as a Syrian tool of influence, akin to Ahmad Jibril and Sa’iqa. That too does not stand in the face of Hamas’ history – Hamas never bargained on its principles when it was in Jordan and it chose to leave rather than comply with the Jordanian requests (which at the time were designed to help a limping Arafat in his tough negotiations in the Wye River Accord and Taba).
Gafgafa, you make some very valid points even though I do not agree with all of them. I think we have a tendency of constantly underestimating the threats to our country and I believe that if every hotel in Jordan was bombed people would still think the government is lying. I can’t help but draw similarities from our past and from world history and how it repeats itself not out of default but out of people’s apathy to such realities. These are exact same arguements people made in opposition to the government’s claims that AlQueda was planning something in the country. It was said it was impossible Jordanians could ever be targetted because their fight was with the U.S.
who knows though, maybe some conclusive evidence will reveal itself. either way i’m not prepared to call the government a liar nor validate it’s claims.
Nas, what is it that you’re doing now? what proof did you provide? Is it just a way of proving a ploy by keep saying it untill people are tired of keep defending the truth so it replaces truth?
what Gafgafa said is great, I can’t tell why don’t you agree with it. “I believe that if every hotel in Jordan was bombed people would still think the government is lying.” Do you really believe in this? Haven’t you been in Amman in Nov 9? As I remember no one claimed that the government was lying about anything, every true Jordanian directed his anger towards the right direction, and Hamas condemned the attacks by every possible way.
I feel a tendency in your recent posts of keep comparing Al Qaeda with Hamas, for me, this coming from you is surprising, I read most of your posts and I see that the least thing I could say is that you’re not that shallow (no offense) How could you compare two completely different things, Hamas condems what Al Qaeda does, Al Qaeda is becoming more hawkish by time, and Hamas is turning into a political party!
“It was said it was impossible Jordanians could ever be targetted because their fight was with the U.S.”, could you please tell me who said that exactly. Before Nov 9 bombings, Al Qaeda had already butcherd tens of Saudis and Egyptions, and not to mention innocent Iraqis, no one was surprised that Al Qaeda did the attacks in Amman, it was the style, the history, and most importantly; the clear announcement of responsibility of the bombings.
Dear Nas, I respect your opinions so much, but I think that this time I can’t be more disagreeing with you. From my humble experience of the Jordanian government, I say that the reason behind the whole ploy is one thing: For all those who dare to suspect the government’s story to become enemies of the country; any different story wouldn’t make the same effect.
I re-read my comment and felt that I was offensive at some point, I apologise to you, and hope that you won’t take anything personal, I would say it’s a political disagreement, nothing more.
Omar, you seem to misunderstand it…im not comparing im drawing an allusion between the two and not as individual organizations doing what they do with their respective causes…but rather with Jordan as the context, with Jordan as the frameworks and they the elements operating within. Not just them, but any groups interest in Jordan. As for the Amman bombings, even the next day you had people who thought it was set up by the government to scare people. If they took a poll a year or two from now those numbers that claimed support for alqueda was down in the days following 11/9 will probably go back up.
“could you please tell me who said that exactly” lol do you want specific names of people I know? So many people said this Omar, I don’t know why we would want to turn a deaf ear to what people on the street actually think and say. When the GID chemical plot was foiled everyone claimed the government was lying and they did it only so they could divert attention from rising prices of sugar and rice.
My message has been clear and I’ve repeated it several times so I don’t know why you’re not getting it. It’s really quite simple so let me repeat it if you’ll allow me: iÃ¢??m not prepared to call the government a liar nor validate itÃ¢??s claims. There’s no evidence to say what they say is true nor false and I’m not leaning towards either side. However the arguements presented by those who say the government is lying are as ill founded as the claims the government itself is making on it’s own. Last week the government presented the materials it uncovered and people said it was lying; their arguement was that the timing was suspect. Fair enough. This week the government has people in custody and people say that the government is merely repeating a lie for people to believe it.
It could go either way is all I’m saying, but with what I know of our history and the way it tends to repeat, the government has done far worse things without going to all this trouble.
Your comment was not really offensive, perhaps you simply misunderstood my point of view 🙂
[Groups interest in jordan]
Can someone tell me why wold hamas do that?
hamede, i’m sure there are many reasons but here are two obvious ones: 1) peace treaty with Israel 2) US support
1) Peace Treaty: You say that Hamas wants Jordan to break its peace treaty with Israel. How will carrying out operations in Jordan achieve that aim? Especially when those operations are against Jordanian officials as we are told.
On the contrary, doing that will give the government of Jordan every excuse it ever needs to crackdown on internal dissent in the name of anti-terrorism, and to deflect the public opinion away from Israel and the cosy relationship that exists by rallying the people around the Jordanian leadership (who Hamas is allegedly threatening).
This proposition doesn’t make sense.
2)US Support: The US supports Japan too, why didn’t Hamas attack Japan or smuggle weapons there? True Japan is far, Egypt is closer and the US supports it but Hamas never bombed Egypt despite Egypt sidign with Fatah on many issues.
Hamas can easily carry out a bigger operation in Egypt: Sinai is under-patrolled and the security is lax (as Dahab bombings show), and there is a lot of weapons and explosives smuggling taking place in Sinai and Hamas could’ve easily capitulated on that.
Jordan could’ve given a polite excuse like Abu Elgheit in Egypt and made no fuss. We all understand that our governments don’t have the final say in many issues – we really understand. But to try to act macho and independent when everyone knows the government is not is like that Danish King down the street while being oblivious to the fact that he is totally exposed.
actually I didnt say anything. what i DID say was that these would be one of the many reason armed groups would have an interest in targeting Jordan. you can re-read my last comment if you’d like to verify that 🙂
also your reasons are not very concrete at all but since they have nothing to do with what I said I guess there’s no since in proving that
“your reasons are not very concrete”
I would agree to some extent, because on a re-read of the reasons you outlined, because the reasons are really so disconnected that I was trying hard to think of a FOR arguement before thinking of an AGAINST rebuttal. I dont see the connection between targetting Jordanian officials and “peace treaty” or “US support” and I should have been asking for an explanation before committing an assumptiong.