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Jordanian Police Round Up 120 in Bomb Plot Investigation

Thousands of Jordanians protested in the streets of the capital, condemning the attacks that thus far have claimed 57 lives. The protesters denounced al-Qaida in Iraq’s leader, Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, chanting “Al-Zarqawi, you are a coward! Amman will remain safe!” the Associated Press reported.

Among those killed were Syrian-American filmmaker Mustapha Akkad, the producer of the “Halloween” horror movies, and his 34-year-old American daughter.

A statement on a Web site that has included past al-Qaida statements, said the bombers “are Iraqis from the land between the two rivers,” alluding to Iraq’s ancient name, Mesopotamia.

‘They vowed to die and they chose the shortest route to receive the blessings of God,” the statement said.

The statement, signed by group spokesman Abu Maysara al-Iraqi, said the four attackers included a husband and wife, who “chose to accompany her husband in his martyrdom.” Jordanian police say they had identified the remains of three men, but have not found evidence of a female attacker.

It also threatened Israel, Jordan’s western neighbor. The statement noted that Jordan, which it described as Israel’s “buffer zone,” was now “within range” and it will not be long before raids by the mujahedeen come to the Jewish state.

The plot, carried out after a month of surveillance, was orchestrated in response to “the conspiracy against the Sunnis whose blood and honor were shed by the Crusaders and the Shiites” and the involvement of the Arab League, which is trying to arrange an Iraqi reconciliation conference, the statement said.

It also referred to “revenge for the Sunnis in Qaim,” a city along the Iraqi-Syrian border were the U.S. and Iraqi forces are conducting an offensive against al-Qaida-led forces.

King Abdullah II said the Jordanian public was outraged that the bombers targeted just innocent people. And I can tell you that we Jordanians, we get mad and we get even and these people will be brought to justice.”

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