Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Carnage in Jordan

The death toll is still being tallied, but it is a grim situation in Amman, Jordan as three bombs went off at hotels throughout the city. At least 18 people were murdered and scores more were injured.

Who would do something like this? Militant Quakers? Nope. Michelle Malkin and Jeff Goldberg both think that it's Zarqawi's al Qaeda minions. Not a big stretch there. I think they're correct. This multiple bombing in Zarqawi's backyard has al Qaeda's bloody fingerprints all over it.

The New York Times notes that at least one of the hotels was targeted by terrorists back in 2000. The hotels affected are the Grand Hyatt, the Raddison, and the Days Inn. They're also popular with Americans and Israelis who visit Israel, so expect that Americans will be among the casualties.

See Malkin's website and LGF for the latest.

The death toll in the carnage is now up to 57. 115 people were wounded.
A U.S. counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the strong suspicion is that al-Zarqawi was involved because of his known animosity for Jordanian monarchy and the fact that it was a suicide attack, one of his hallmarks.

In February, U.S. intelligence indicated that Osama bin Laden was in contact with al-Zarqawi, enlisting him to conduct attacks outside of Iraq, noted another U.S. counterterrorism official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. Jordan has arrested scores of Islamic militants for plotting to carry out attacks and has also sentenced many militants to death in absentia, including al-Zarqawi.

Its capital, Amman, has become a base for Westerners who fly in and out of neighboring Iraq for work. The city's main luxury hotels downtown are often full of American and British officials and contractors enjoying the relative quiet of the city.

"Obviously this is something Jordan is not used to," Muasher, told CNN. "We have been lucky so far in avoiding those incidents." He said most of the casualties appeared to be Jordanians.
Let's hope they take steps to secure the border with Iraq, and to crack down on the Islamists and mullahs who call for jihad and suicide bombings.

Mary Katherine Ham at Wizbang notes that the terrorists targeted a wedding celebration and used two suicide bombers and a car bomb. The injuries keep piling up as reports are saying more than 300 were hurt by the bombings.

The Jawa Report has more, and includes some information that I left in the comments related to Hammorabi's cryptic warning. President Bush has condemned the attacks, as noted by bRight and Early. The Counterterrorism Blog has significant updates, including maps and images from the hotels. Jordanian authorities are keying in on Zarqawi's henchmen.
Al-Zarqawi the primary suspect; a native Jordanian and already sentenced to death in absentia there - police already detaining possible suspects. Evan Kohlmann among the premier experts in the world on Al-Zarqawi; see his Iraq leadership chart, his post on Al Qaeda's attempted rocket attack on U.S. warships in Aqaba on August 19, and other information on his site - Matthew Levitt and associate Julie Sawyer wrote last year on "Zarqawi's Jordanian Agenda" on AZ's leading role in terrorism in Jordan.

Also blogging the murderous spree in Jordan (and added to as necessary): Stop the ACLU, Don Surber, T. Longren, Gribbit's Word, The Tar Pit, Red State Rant, Freedom From Terror For All, Coalition of the Swilling, The Dread Pundit Bluto, The Anchoress Online, AJ Strata, and cross linked at Euphoric Reality.

Two Minute Offense catches an NBC News producer blaming the US and the Bush Administration for the bombings in Jordan. And these are the so called unbiased and fair and balanced media that we rely upon for our news. (HT: The Anchoress Online.)

Captain Ed has new updates, including some curious information culled from Hugh Hewitt's site about how Israelis were somehow warned and then escorted by Jordanian intelligence agents away from the hotels before the attacks, which would explain the low number of Israelis injured? It sounds way too much like the makings of an urban legend. Captain Ed also notes that the hotels were franchisees owned and operated by local Palestinian families, not directly owned by the US companies. Also being reported is that there have been some arrests made in connection with the bombings.

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