Jordan says it thwarted terror plot against US, Israeli diplomats

Two followers of Islamic State accused of planning to use cars, guns and knives in attacks on embassy staff and service personnel stationed in Jafr.

Jordanian intelligence foiled a plot by two Islamic State suspects to attack US and Israeli diplomats, as well as US troops at a base in the south of the country, the state-owned al-Rai newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Two suspects, said to be in their 30s and 40s, allegedly planned to ram vehicles into targets, as well as using firearms and knives.

They intended to attack Israeli and US diplomats, and American troops stationed at a base in Jafr, in the south of the country, the report said.

According to indictments filed at the State Security Court, the defendants became adherents of IS ideology and its radical interpretation of Islam after following news reports about the terror group and reading its press releases on the social network site Telegram. The pair also allegedly tried to recruit family and friends into IS.

Over the past year they decided to follow former Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s calls for attacks on targets around the world, prosecutors say, according to the report. They then allegedly obtained money to purchase the vehicles and weapons they planned to use in the attacks.

The trial opened Sunday with both defendants pleading not guilty.

Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994 and the two countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv and Amman. Although relations are often strained over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two countries are known to cooperate behind the scenes on security issues.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said Israeli-Jordanian ties are based on “a sober and utilitarian consideration of both sides, for stability and security, the mutual interdependence of each one.”

Islamic State leader Baghdadi was killed last month during a US special forces raid on his hideout in Syria.

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