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Salt suspects confess to greater terror schemes

GID reveals details about suspects in Fuheis bombing, aftermath

By Abdul Rahman Bazian - Sep 14,2018 - Last updated at Sep 14,2018

An image grab from a video broadcast on Jordan TV Thursday shows a drone-like machine that terrorists have allegedly built to drop explosives on targets (JT photo)

AMMAN — In a short documentary Thursday evening, detainees of the Salt terrorist cell, who carried out the Fuheis bombing on August 9, confessed to having had greater schemes mainly targeting security and government buildings.

There were no explicit statements of remorse in the segments aired on national television, made available by the General Intelligence Directorate (GID).

The clip featured segments of the interviews with the suspected terrorists, about how they met, who led the group and what they planned to do, but it did not specify exactly how the ringleader was radicalised in the first place.

“We knew each other from school and used to smoke hashish together,” Mahmoud Ensour said, whose brother, Ahmad, the ringleader, was found dead under the rubble of the booby-trapped building in Salt.

“He was our emir,” Mahmoud Hiyari said, in reference to Ahmad Ensour, who was reportedly responsible for the youths’ radicalisation.

“Ahmad turned us with all the videos he made us watch,” he said.

Ahmad had convinced both his brother and Mahmoud Hiyari to join a cell made up of them and two others; Diyaa Faouri and Ahmad Odeh.

Ahmad was the group’s mastermind, according to the detainees.

He even designed and co-built a remote-controlled drone-like machine to carry out the bombings, the suspects said.

“I secured him JD2,000 to build the machine,” said Anas Saleh, one of the detainees. 

After the alleged ringleader actively and deliberately exposed the rest of the cell to Daesh propaganda, the youths were up and ready to kill whomever their emir told them to, Hiyari explained.

They bought guns and ammunition and were planning to target the GID branch in Salt, among other intelligence and military locations.

“But then we decided to switch strategies, when Abu Mohammad Al Adnani [Daesh spokesperson] said that bombing was safer and more effective. So we prepared more than 55 kilogrammes of homemade explosives... and decided to target the patrol in Fuheis, because they were protecting infidels,” he said, and so they did.

Notably, all four of the detainees are Jordanians from the central governorate of Salt, the GID stated.

They were apprehended in Salt less than 12 hours after they targeted the police patrol in Fuheis.

The collapse of the building killed three of the cell and claimed the lives of four Jordanian security operatives and military personnel, in addition to two killed in the earlier attack in Fuheis.

More than 17 people were injured in the raid that led to the gunmen’ neutralisation, including civilians.

In the parameters of the stormed building, quantities of explosives were found buried under ground.

According to Maj. Gen. Hussein Hawatmeh, the intelligence operation had pieced together the intel they had within hours after the Fuheis attack.

“They had sworn allegiance to their emir and the Daesh terrorist group, but they had no actual ties to the organisation,” he said.

“Upon arriving on site, where the gunmen were hiding, we called upon them to surrender, but they opened fire. The building was booby-trapped; good Jordanians died that day,” the general added. 

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