- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 10, 2005

All indications are that the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi and his al Qaeda in Iraq organization are responsible for striking Amman, Jordan Wednesday with devastating coordinated suicide attacks that killed at least 56 (a total that is certain to increase substantially in the coming days, as searchers comb through the rubble) and injured more than 100 others. The attacks at the Radisson, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels are shaping up to be among the most deadly to occur anywhere in the world since September 11.

Until now Jordan has been mostly successful in thwarting suicide terror attacks. Some have started referring to Wednesday’s attacks as a “Jordanian September 11,” a moment they hope will wake up a quiescent public to the threat in its midst. If these attacks demonstrate anything to the Jordanian people (most of whom are Palestinians), it should be that Abu Musab Zarqawi and the jihadists are perfectly happy to commit mass murder in order to take revenge against an authentic Arab reformist like King Abdullah for trying to put forward an alternative to Islamist barbarism.

The Jordanian government has shown a willingness to take action against anti-Semitic incitement. For example, it recently forbade the satellite channel Al Mamnou from airing a Ramadan program which cited the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as an authoritative source of information on the nefarious machinations of international Jewry. We hope that in the coming days, Jordan will put aside Sunni-Shi’ite differences and wholeheartedly embrace Iraq’s new, democratically elected government, which is also being targeted by the Bin Laden and Zarqawi terror networks. It is also important that Jordan cooperate, discreetly if necessary — with the democracy to the west — Israel — in addressing the threat posed by Hamas and the other terror groups that are busily attempting to set up shop in the West Bank.

Wednesday’s attacks were as much propaganda tools to strike fear in Jordanian hearts, as they were attacks on places where Westerners and Jordanian elites congregate, some of whom travel back and forth to Iraq. In that sense it is worth pointing out Jordan’s relative success prior to this week in thwarting terrorist attacks. Most notably, in April 2004 its security forces foiled what would have been a catastrophic attack by the Zarqawi network, which sought to attack targets in Amman, including the U.S. embassy, with chemical weapons.

The attacks may well create a backlash against the terrorists. Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that hundreds of angry Jordanians had taken to the streets crying “Burn in h–, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!” This, along with mourning and sympathy, is the right response to the Amman hotel bombings. It is becoming clearer to Jordanians and their government that the jihadists are their enemy and that the terror networks plaguing the Mideast must be destroyed.

Our condolences go out to the Jordanian people at this difficult time. We know that the United States government will work closely with the Jordanians to bring to justice those responsible for these vicious acts of barbarism.

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