Jordanian opposition seeks to end Jordan’s CIA links

Khalil al-Balawi

Khalil al-Balawi

By IAN ALLEN| intelNews.org |
Earlier this month we reported on the excellent analysis by Jordanian blogger Naseem Tarawnah about the view from Jordan on the December 30 suicide bombing in Afghanistan. He suggested that the immediate impact of the bombing, which killed at least seven CIA agents and a senior Jordanian intelligence official, was the revelation of Jordan’s covert CIA connection. The latter, “while relatively well-known before, has now been put out in the public sphere for all to see –especially the Arab street”, he wrote. This is precisely what appears to be happening. The Jordanian government is coming under pressure by opposition groups to end its cooperation with American military and intelligence services operating in Arab and Muslim lands. A statement released yesterday, signed by dozens of prominent opposition figures, argues that “Jordan should not be dragged into wars of others” and should therefore “end [its] policy of […] cooperation or security coordination with the Zionist enemy or the American intelligence agencies”. Among others, the statement also bears the signature of Muslim Brotherhood leader in Jordan, Hammam Said. The group’s former political director told The New York Times that the revelation of Jordan’s intelligence cooperation with the CIA is “driving radical young people into the arms of al Qaeda”. Another commentator said that, prior to the suicide bombing in Afghanistan, “[m]ost Jordanian people [did] not even know that there are Jordanian forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and this itself created a shock”, with “many Jordanians” now questioning “their government’s role in a conflict so far from home”. Jordanian government officials have been quick to dismiss calls for severing ties with the CIA. The country’s foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, said the government “planned to enhance” its security and intelligence presence in Afghanistan, while prime minister Samir Rifai said the Hashemite Kingdom “will deploy [its forces] wherever it is necessary”.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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