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In foiling terror plot, Jordan shows strength, unity — analysts

By Mohammad Ghazal - Mar 03,2016 - Last updated at Mar 03,2016

An army officer holds a photo of the late Major Rashed Zyoud during his funeral in Zarqa's Hashemiyeh District, on Wednesday (Photo by Muath Freij)

AMMAN — Foiling the terror plot by Daesh in the Kingdom's northern region sends a strong message to terrorist groups seeking to undermine the country’s stability, but Jordan needs to remain vigilant, military experts and commentators said on Wednesday.

The killing of seven terrorists linked to Daesh and the arrest of 13 others is a “pre-emptive strike” to terrorist groups, which are harmed by the truce in Syria and seek to spread chaos in neighbouring countries, analysts interviewed by The Jordan Times said.

“The successful security operation is testimony to Jordan’s immunity against any attempts by radical groups to breach the country’s security and stability,” Maj. Gen. Mohammad Farghal, director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army, said.

“This is a message to all terrorist groups and their supporters that Jordan stands firm in the face of any attempt to harm its security,” Farghal said.

The senior officer said Jordan has been through “tougher” times throughout its history.

The foiled plot comes at a time when world powers are working to hold a truce in Syria, the success of which is not in terrorists' interest, as they “thrive on destruction, chaos and terrorising nations”, said the expert.

“This pre-emptive strike indicates that they [the outlaws] have been under monitoring by the security authorities for several months, and forces raided them at the right time,” retired major general and strategic analyst Adeeb Sarayreh told The Jordan Times.

“The security operation was successful although Jordan lost an officer and some were injured…The message to all terrorists today is that they will not be able to penetrate Jordan as its citizens and security apparatuses are united behind one goal — preserving the country’s security ,” Sarayreh said.

Jamal Al Shalabi, a professor of political science at the Hashemite University, said what happened is proof of Jordan’s capability to preserve its security.

“This success sends a message to the world that Jordan is one of the few countries that enjoy such security amidst a turbulent region," he said, stressing that the quick and effective response of security forces is something to take pride in.

Sarayreh noted that despite some breaches of the truce in Syria, Russia, the US and key players are pushing towards its success to pave the way for the desired political solution in Syria.

“The success of a truce weakens those terrorists, who — by targeting Jordan — seek to spread destruction and chaos,” he added.

Jordan has been greatly successful at preventing any infiltration attempts by terrorist groups in the country; however, it needs to remain vigilant and pay attention to any possible sleeper cells, the experts said.

“Security forces and the intelligence department need to be more vigilant as more Jordanians who were fighting alongside Daesh and [the Al Qaeda-affiliated] Al Nusra Front in Syria are returning to the country,” Fayez Dweiri, a retired major general and a military analyst, said

“Some of those who have returned may not be seeking repentance; they may be seeking to activate those sleeper cells and here we need to be more attentive,” Dweiri said.

Foiling the terror plot boosts Jordanians' confidence in the capabilities of their security forces, political analyst Nabil Ghishan said, calling for more efforts to combat terrorist ideologies.

“Those killed are Jordanians; thus, helping those brainwashed by terror groups is key in the fight against terrorism," said Ghishan.

Commenting on the foiled terror plot, the Muslim Brotherhood group stressed its rejection and condemnation of using weapons against the state, while calling for united efforts to preserve the country’s stability and security.


The group, which paid tribute to the officer who was killed during the operation, underlined the necessity of a unified internal front to face the dangers and challenges against the country, according to a statement sent to The Jordan Times. 

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