Monday, January 09, 2006

Is Jordan the latest front in the GWOT

Three foreign embassies are now closed in Amman.

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Australia and Canada closed their embassies in the Jordanian capital Amman today until further notice, a day after the U.K. shut its embassy there on concern about future terrorist attacks in the country.

The Australian embassy in Amman left a recorded message on its telephone saying it would be closed due to "the security situation." The Canadian embassy left a voice message saying it was closed until further notice, without citing a reason.

"Terrorists may be in the final stages of planning attacks against Westerners and places frequented by Westerners," the U.K.'s Foreign Office said yesterday when announcing the closure of the British Embassy in the Jordanian capital.

I'm curious to see where the intel for this closures came from. Wiretaps? Interrogated captured terrorists? Informants? They wouldn't close an embassy because they were scared, so they must have gotten something more than this...

(The Australian) The Jordanian embassies were closed after Britain's spy agency, MI6, received intelligence that Iraq's most feared al-Qa'ida operative, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was behind the new threat.

Jordanian security authorities have been trying to hunt down the perpetrators of three suicide bomb attacks on November 9 that hit the Radisson, Days Inn and Hyatt hotels, resulting in more than 60 deaths.

Zarqawi issued a statement on November 18 warning that al-Qa'ida would begin a bombing campaign in Jordan because of its support for nations leading the war on terror, namely Britain and the US and, by implication, Australia.

But the Jordanian Government, which has been a strong supporter of the US-led coalition, was critical last night of the closures.

"The Government believes the closure of the British embassy, which was followed by the closure of the Canadian and Australian embassies, was completely unjustified and there is not real motive that warrants such a closure," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

That speaks of old news but nothing new. Interesting.