Jordan Foils Major al-Qaida Plot to Attack Western Targets

Security forces arrest 11 suspects who planned to bomb shopping centers, which could have killed thousands; security source says cell may be linked to Syrian regime.

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Jordanian authorities said Sunday that they have succeeded in foiling a major plot by an al-Qaida-linked cell to harm "Jordanian national security."

According to security forces, 11 suspects have been detained on suspicion they planned to bomb shopping centers and assassinate Western diplomats.

Security forces said that the plot, which had been in the works since June, aimed to carry out attacks in the capital Amman using smuggled weapons and explosives brought from Syria.

"Their plans included getting explosives and mortars from Syria," a security source told Reuters.

The attacks, aimed at western and commercial areas, would likely have resulted in the death of thousands, according to Jordanian authorities.

The security source said the suspects had manufactured explosives "aimed at inflicting the heaviest human losses possible."

Jordan is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East and Israel's peace partner. The Arab kingdom has often been targeted by al-Qaida and other Islamic militants. It regularly arrests terror suspects and puts them on trial.

Jordanian police officers stand guard outside the Israeli embassy in Amman.Credit: Reuters

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