Skip to comments.Jordan Police Kill Four Terror Suspects (WMDs Jordan)
Posted on 04/20/2004 4:15:21 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
AMMAN, Jordan - Authorities stormed a basement in a poor neighborhood of the Jordanian capital Tuesday, killing four men believed to have ties to an al-Qaida-linked cell that plotted simultaneous bombing and chemical attacks against the U.S. Embassy and other targets.
Three other men were detained at the hide-out, according to an Associated Press photographer at the scene.
It was not immediately clear what relationship the detained men had with the slain terror suspects. Three of the dead were foreigners, government spokeswoman Asma Khader said without giving their nationalities.
The bomb plot was disclosed earlier this week and was said to have been foiled following the arrests of several suspects in two raids in late March and early April. Had the chemical bomb exploded, it could have killed at least 20,000 people and wrecked buildings within a half-mile radius, government officials say.
Jordan, a moderate Arab nation with close ties to the United States and a peace treaty with Israel, has been targeted by al-Qaida and other groups.
The nearly four-hour operation began in Tuesday afternoon when hundreds of policemen, acting on a tip, surrounded a one-mile area around the one-story, white-brick building in the eastern Hashemi district of Amman, a predominantly Palestinian area.
Police called for the suspects to surrender, but they responded with gunfire, the statement said.
About 2 1/2 hours into the operation, police fired several volleys of tear gas at the hide-out.
"Open the door! Surrender!" shouted a Special Forces security man in black uniform through a loudspeaker after police arrested one of three men trying to escape from the back of the house.
Shortly afterward, about six Special Forces men wearing gas masks stormed the house, breaking down the door with an iron bar. Smoke, apparently from a tear gas canister that was fired by the security forces, was seen rising from the basement.
Two men, one bearded, were dragged out of the house. Authorities handcuffed them and forced them to lie on their bellies on the ground next to the first suspect. An official in civilian clothes slapped the men on the face and screamed abuse at them.
Joyful women on balconies of nearby buildings ululated and boys clapped and whistled as police took the three away. Some security forces were slightly injured in the operation.
A security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AP that the four killed were believed to have links to a group that plotted to detonate a powerful chemical bomb against Jordan's secret service, and use poison gas against the prime minister's office, the U.S. Embassy and other diplomatic missions.
"Information made available to security authorities pointed to the presence of an armed group which had plotted to carry out terror attacks," the police statement said.
The U.S. Embassy in Amman declined comment on Tuesday's shootout. But other Western diplomatic officials contacted by AP said they believed there was a link between the al-Qaida-linked terror threat and the slain suspects.
Authorities have said the suspects in the earlier raids entered Jordan from Syria, which denies the allegation.
Police said several of the terror suspects arrested last month confessed that the plots were hatched by Jordanian militant Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, thought to be a close associate of al-Qaida boss Osama bin Laden.
U.S. officials have offered a $10 million reward for al-Zarqawi's capture, saying he is trying to build a network of foreign militants in neighboring Iraq to work on al-Qaida's behalf.
Twenty-two Arab men were convicted in a plot that targeted U.S. and Israeli tourists in the 2000 millennium celebrations in Jordan.
Associated Press reporters Hussein Malla and Shafika Mattar contributed to this story.
This whole thing likely will be written of as just another terrorist incident without more disclosure.
I don't see them doing anything on this unless they find out the gas was VX or something.
King Abdullah had his hand forced, welcome to kinghood, son. .. job well done ..
This has to make Assad cringe. ;-)
My wife was in Vallely's unit (PsyOps) here some years back, heck of a nice fellow.
If rush is taking about this the story is going to go far. This may light a fire under somebody.
Anyone else miss this WMD info? My radio news today was FILLED with a ton of other crap...
Not when you consider that all the talking heads will look like morons if this gets out.
I have no doubts that Saddam possessed WMD and I have no doubts that they were hidden in Iraq or some other country. But the absence of competent confirmation of the active chemical agent in this Jordanian case, has my BS detector pinging overtime.
You want this story (finding WMD's in Jordon) to be true, I want this story to be true, and everyone except a few whacked-out nutcases want it to be true. But I would suggest we wait till we have some actual confirmation that this is the case, before we start congratulating ourselves.
It could be that the detectors were defective or set so sensitive for safety reasons that they would go off around a drum of pesticide. In any case, there are a variety of chemical agents possible. Some like VX are sophistcated and could not be easily improvised. Cyanide gas could be produced simply as in the old execution chambers where cyanide pellets were dropped into an acid bath that could be improvised.
I don't lend much credence to the Loftus report because I don't have much confidence in anything he says. That said, there have been numerous stories out there mentioning poison gas specifically. At this point we are waiting to find out exactly what was there and the more people aking questions, the more pressure to find out and disclose what, if anything, was there.
You can write off cyanide as any kind of effective chemical agent of mass lethality ("could have killed 20,000") when dispersed in open areas, especially via a bomb (cyanide doesn't can't take the heat).
Even something as extra-lethal as VX nerve agent would require something on the order of 500 pounds of the stuff to do what has been suggested by the news reports (LD50 is about 10 grams/m^3).
"It could be that the detectors were defective or set so sensitive for safety reasons that they would go off around a drum of pesticide."
For better or worse, the field-grade chemical detectors used by the military are notorious for false positives, maybe on the theory that it is better to be safe than sorry. But the research-grade equipment available to a professional laboratory is a completely different story. I would be shocked if the Jordanian GID did not have such a lab, as it would be an essential component of their mission.
"I don't lend much credence to the Loftus report..."
That can't be repeated too often here on FR. Loftus makes Debka look credible.
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