Jordan Thwarts Terrorist Plot to Target Security Site

Trials at the Jordanian State Security Court have revealed that a third terrorist plot targeting a security site in Irbid governorate has been thwarted.

The Kingdom’s General Intelligence Directorate (GID) arrested members of a terrorist cell who were planning to target the site in the governorate that lies 80 km north of the capital, Amman.

According to Alrai official newspaper, three defendants attempted to join ISIS terrorist organization in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, but they failed to reach there.

According to the indictment, the three defendants were friends, pointing out that the first remained the link between the two others.

“After ISIS’s emergence in Iraq and Syria in 2014, he started following its news and publications through internet channels until he became one of its supporters,” the indictment read, adding that he believed it is applying the correct Islamic Sharia law and pledged allegiance to the group.

The first defendant wanted ISIS to gain more support, so he started promoting its ideas among family members and friends, and was able to convince the second defendant to join the organization by keeping him updated on its news and publications and providing him with a book on militant thought.

Both defendants kept promoting the extremist group and exchanging news and publications.

In 2017, the first defendant was able to convince the third of ISIS’s ideology by using the same method he used with the second defendant, until he also pledged his allegiance.

They then decided to join ISIS ranks and agreed to travel to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt as alleged tourists and then move to Sinai.

However, the second defendant communicated with one of the organization’s elements via Telegram and was informed that roads were not secure.

Fearing they might be caught by the Egyptian army, all three defendants postponed their plan.

In 2019, the second defendant decided to start carrying out terrorist operations in Jordan in support of the organization.

Discussing the plot with the first defendant, both agreed to target Irbid Northern Security Center. Yet, the third defendant rejected the plot and insisted on joining ISIS ranks abroad.

On Feb 3, Jordan’s security services arrested both defendants and thwarted their terrorist scheme. The third defendant was detained in late February.

Researcher and expert on terrorism affairs Dr. Saud Al-Sharafat pointed out that the three operations are likely to be recent because the State Security Court began looking into them as soon as it resumed its sessions after coronavirus lockdown measures were eased.

He stressed in statements to Asharq Al-Awsat that the nature of the organization’s threat to the Kingdom’s security is not linked to its strength or weakness in Syria or Iraq.

Sharafat pointed out that individuals are being influenced by the organization’s ideas and are ready to be recruited through social media.

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