Jordan Foils Plot to Bomb Western Targets

The Middle Eastern country of Jordan successfully thwarted an attempt by an al-Qaida-linked cell to bomb its shopping centers and assassinate Western diplomats, according to state television. Jordanian security forces detained a total of 11 suspects in connection with the plot, all of whom were Jordanians. Security officials told state television that the plot envisaged carrying out attacks in the capital, Amman, using smuggled weapons and explosives from Syria. The al-Qaida-linked cell targeted two shopping centers in the capital, and had plans to execute a bombing campaign in the Abdoun neighborhood, where many foreign embassies are located. The Jordan Times, citing a security source, reported that the U.S. and British embassies were among the targets. Minister of Information Samih al Maaytah said members of the militant group had spent some time in Syria, and another security source said the cell had been fighting for "some period" alongside Islamist rebel groups in Syria. In 2005 dozens of people were killed when three suicide bombings ripped through luxury hotels in Amman. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attack.

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