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Family of Muwaqqar shooter casts doubt over official account

By Raed Omari - Nov 17,2015 - Last updated at Nov 17,2015

AMMAN — Unconvinced with the authorities’ findings in the deadly shooting at a police training centre earlier this month, the family of Captain Anwar Abu Zaid, the shooter, said Tuesday they want the prosecutor general to investigate the incident.

On November 9, Abu Zaid killed five contractors working with the Public Security Department (PSD), and injured six people before he was killed, according to an announcement by the Interior Ministry and the Public Security Department. 

Two US contractors, one South African and two Jordanian translators were killed in the shooting, which took place at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre (KASOTC) in Muwaqqar.

At a press conference Saturday to announce the results of the investigation, Interior Minister Salameh Hammad said the deadly shooting was a “lone wolf attack” and not linked to any group.

Anwar’s brother, Fadi Abu Zaid, said his tribe will seek an independent investigation into the officer’s death, describing the findings as “contradictory, inconsistent and illogical”.

“The interior minister said there are no surveillance cameras installed at the crime scene. How come there are no surveillance cameras at such a sensitive security facility whereas they are everywhere at shops, malls, and public parks and even mosques?” Fadi asked.

He also cast doubt over the official account of his brother’s actions on that day.

“They claimed my brother left his workplace with a Kalashnikov, and then, in the yard, he began shooting at a pickup vehicle and continued to the KASOTC, where he killed five people. How come there was no one on the way to stop him?”

During Saturday’s press conference, Brig. Gen. Hussein Abbadi, director of the Preventive Security Department, said Anwar did not serve at KASOTC, but worked at the Prince Hussein Bin Abdullah II Training Centre in the same area. 

After performing the noon prayer, he took his weapon and went to the KASOTC on foot and started shooting at a truck that was transporting three people, one of whom was a US national who was shot dead, according to Abbadi.

Then Anwar went inside KASOTC, where he started shooting, killing four more people before being killed, the official said.  

Fadi also expressed doubt over the manner in which his brother was killed, arguing that if it had been a fire exchange, he would not have received only one bullet to the head.

At the press conference, Interior Minister Salameh Hammad confirmed news reports that Anwar had submitted his resignation a few days before the attack, adding that his colleagues said he was not acting normal.

“My brother never suffered from any disorders. He was completely stable… And if he were indeed not acting normally, how could it be that he was promoted and appointed at a sensitive security facility?” Fadi asked. 

“Anwar’s body had traces of torture or beating on the neck, leg and eyes. My brother was executed. What the authorities unveiled as results of their investigation is difficult to believe and accept. It makes no sense,” Fadi claimed.

He also said that his tribe is unlikely to sign a confession document of the crime for the tribes of Kamal Malkawi and Awni Aqrabawi — the two Jordanians killed in the shooting — “simply because we are not convinced that Anwar killed them”.


Under tribal law, a killer’s tribe should sign a document for the family of the victim for reconciliation and prevention of retribution.

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