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Jordan Says It Has Foiled Major Anti-Western Al Qaeda Plot



AMMAN - Jordanian police say they have arrested 11 suspected terrorists who had crossed the border from Syria and were planning a major attack against foreigners in Jordan's capital.

The U.S. embassy in Jordan was among the targets, an embassy spokesman confirmed to the Independent. According to the Jordanian news agency Petra, the group “planned to target diplomats” and other foreigners in hotels and public areas.

Jordan is an important ally of the United States in the Middle East, and its capital Amman is the headquarters of many foreign companies that do business in the Middle East.

The police say they found “large quantities of ammunition, machine guns and other items such as computers” and the terrorists had received explosives training from Iraqi Al Qaeda experts, Reuters said. The plotters wanted to fatally disrupt Jordan’s tourism- and business-based economy, says the Independent.

Jordanian police also announced that they had captured two cousins of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda leader in Iraq who was killed in 2006 after a series of high-profile attacks that included beheadings of western hostages, the AFP reported.

An Al Qaeda attack on three luxury hotels in Jordan in 2005 killed more than 60 deaths wounded 115. Many of the dead were local Jordanians who had been attending a wedding, and this caused a wave of revulsion among local citizens.

Jordan has had to play a careful game in Middle Eastern politics. More than 100,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Jordan since the beginning of the popular uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the Guardian reports. But Jordan does not want the fighting there to spread across the border. It has stepped up border controls with Syria to ensure that fundamentalists supporting Syrian rebels do not give Assad an excuse to help Al Qaeda in Jordan.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Wagner Group 2.0: Why Russia's Mercenary System Is Here To Stay

Many had predicted that the death last month of Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin meant the demise of the mercenary outfit. Yet signs in recent days say the private military outfit is active again in Ukraine, a reminder of the Kremlin's interest in continuing a private fighting formula that has worked all around the world.

Photograph of a Wagner soldier in the city of Artyomovsk, holding a rifle.

Ukraine, Donetsk Region - March 24, 2023: A Wagner Group soldier guards an area in the city of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut).

Cameron Manley


“Let’s not forget that there is no Wagner Group anymore,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had declared. “Such an organization, in our eyes, does not exist.”

The August 25 statement from came less than two days after the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the infamous Russian mercenary outfit, as questions swirled about Wagner's fate after its crucial role in the war in Ukraine and other Russian military missions around the world.

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How could an independent military outfit survive after its charismatic founder's death? It seemed highly unlikely that President Vladimir Putin would allow the survival of a group after had launched a short-lived coup attempt in late June that most outside observers believe led to Prigozhin's private airplane being shot down by Russian forces on August 23.

"Wagner is over,” said the Kremlin critic and Russian political commentator Maksim Katz. “The group can’t keep going. There’s the possibility that they could continue in parts or with Defense Ministry contracts, but the group only worked with an unofficial agreement between Putin and Prigozhin.”

Yet barely a month later, and there are already multiple signs that the Wagner phoenix is rising from the ashes.

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