Al-Qaida claims Jordan suicide blasts
Updated: 2005-11-10 21:31
Al-Qaida claimed responsibility Thursday for three suicide
bomb attacks on Western hotels that killed at least 56 people in the Jordanian
capital, and the terror group's Web posting linked the deadly blasts to the war
Police guard the entrance of a shattered front
to the Hyatt hotel in Amman, Jordan, approximately one hour after a bomb
exploded in the main lobby, Wednesday Nov 9 2005. Suicide bombers carried
out nearly simultaneous attacks on three U.S.-based hotels in the
Jordanian capital Wednesday night, killing at least 57 people and wounding
115 in what appeared to be an al-Qaida assault on an Arab kingdom with
close ties to the United States. [AP]
Police continued a broad security lockdown and authorities sent DNA samples
for testing to identify the attackers. Land borders were reopened after being
closed for nearly 12 hours. The government lowered the death toll by one but
gave no reason.
The al-Qaida claim, which could not be independently verified, said Jordan
became a target because it was "a backyard garden for the enemies of the
religion, Jews and crusaders ... a filthy place for the traitors ... and a
center for prostitution."
The nearly simultaneous attacks late Wednesday also wounded more than 115
people, police said. Police detained several people overnight, although it was
unclear if they were of suspects or witnesses.
The claim of responsibility, signed in the name of the spokesman for Al-Qaida
in Iraq, said the attacks put the United States on notice that the "backyard
camp for the crusader army is now in the range of fire of the holy warriors."
Iraqi government spokesman Laith Kubba said the attack should alert Jordan
that it needed to stop playing host to former members of Saddam Hussein's
"I hope that these attacks will wake up the `Jordanian street' to end their
sympathy with Saddam's remnants ... who exploit the freedom in this country to
have a safe shelter to plot their criminal acts against Iraqis," he said.
Jordan's Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher said
shortly after the blasts that al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a
"prime suspect." The Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi is known for his animosity to the
country's Hashemite monarchy. The claim of responsibility did not name King
Abdullah II but twice referred to the "tyrant of Jordan."