First Published: 2017-02-16

Jordan detains 700 jihadists since Karak attack
700 jihadists arrested since December attack on Karak despite none having links to perpetrators IS, Jordanian security services accused of torturing detainees.
Middle East Online

Jordanian security forces patrol Karak Castle

AMMAN - Jordan has arrested 700 jihadists since a deadly December attack claimed by the Islamic State group, a leading lawyer for Islamist groups said Thursday, charging some of them had been tortured.

Musa Abdullat told a Amman news conference that none of those detained had links to IS, suggesting they were rounded up as a "precautionary" measure ahead of a March 29 Arab summit to be held in Amman.

"Since the beginning of the year and following the Karak attack... a total of 700 people from various Islamist groups have been arrested," Abdullat said, adding that most were radical Sunni Muslim Salafists.

Jordanian authorities were not immediately available for comment.

According to Abdullat, "lawyers have been prevented from meeting with the detainees" and some of the prisoners had been denied visits from their families.

"We have received many complaints from families of detainees who say that they have been tortured by the security services," he said.

Some prisoners had reportedly been forced to shave off their beards -- a symbol of radical Islam -- while others were beaten and suffered broken bones and teeth, he charged.

The December 19 attack in Karak, home to one of the region's biggest Crusader castles, killed seven policemen and two Jordanian civilians as well as a female Canadian tourist, and wounded 34 others.

The attack was claimed by IS and Jordan said it had arrested a man suspected of having funded the assault.

But Abdullat said that none of the detainees have any links to IS or to Al-Qaeda and other groups fighting in neighbouring Syria.

"They are members of various Islamist factions" based in Jordan, he said.

Jordan is part of the US-led military coalition against IS in Syria and Iraq and it has carried out air strikes targeting the extremist group. It also hosts coalition troops on its territory.

The kingdom was hit by four attacks in 2016, including a suicide attack in June that killed seven guards near the border with Syria that was also claimed by IS.

Thousands of Jordanians are believed ot be followers of IS and Al-Qaeda.

According to Abdullah, the number of Jordanian followers of jihadist groups has risen to some 5,500 while he estimated the number of Jordanians battling in Iraq and Syria at around 1,500.

Salafist sources have in the past said that some 4,000 Jordanians are followers of jihadist groups.

 

US criticizes 1915 massacres in Armenia

Iran, major powers were set to review adherence to nuclear deal

Syria ‘ready’ to halt fire for chemical attack probe

Netanyahu threatens to cancel talks with German FM over NGO meetings

LafargeHolcim CEO stepping down over Syria probe

Jailed British-Iranian sees final appeal rejected in Tehran

Turkish warplanes pound Kurdish forces in northeast Syria

Iran election may be pointer to race for supreme leader

US-backed forces enter key IS-held Syria town Tabqa

Israel probe clears officer who shot teen attackers

Israel charges teenager for bomb threats against Jewish institutions

Egypt sentences 20 to death over 2013 police killings

Erdogan accuses researcher of 'inciting assassination'

Qatar Airways CEO accuses US carriers of ‘bullying’

At least 15 migrants drown near Lesbos

Former employees work to salvage Mosul University

Jordan wary about jihadists wishing to return home

US fires opening shots in confrontation with Iran

Mattis sees Saudi Arabia ‘helping across the region’

Sirens, silence as Israel remembers Holocaust

Houthis intensify crackdown on dissent in Yemen

Italian reporter released in Turkey

Algiers summons Morocco envoy over Syrian migrant row

Macron, Le Pen gird for final French election duel

Iran reverses decision to ban live presidential debates

Six Israelis including two soldiers held for anti-Arab attacks

Economists, rights advocates concerned over Egypt’s state of emergency

US Defense Secretary Mattis visits strategic Djibouti

Qatari hunters ecstatic at release from Iraqi kidnappers

Prosecutor says charities colluding with migrant traffickers

France votes under heavy security

Iran's historically unpredictable elections

Israel kills three in attack on pro-regime Syria camp

Iran's Ahmadinejad won't endorse other candidates

Rocky days ahead after Turkey referendum

Huge Shiite crowd throngs Baghdad shrine

Rabat accuses Algiers of expelling 55 migrants across border

Morocco, US take part in joint military exercise

US defence secretary visits key ally Qatar

Lebanese activists ramp up campaign against rape law

Saudis among kidnapped hunters freed in Iraq

Trial in Tunisia beach massacre set to begin April 26

Tunisia hotel attacked by jihadists sees hope in 'rebirth'

IS claims deadly attack on FSB office in Russia

Spate of attacks shows weakening of Islamic State