Jordan claims arrest of seven-member Syrian spy cell in Amman

Jordan and its surrounding regionBy IAN ALLEN | |
Security services in the Kingdom of Jordan announced on Tuesday the detention of seven Syrian nationals who were allegedly caught with sophisticated communications devices in their possession. The announcement was made in a laconic press release issued early yesterday evening by Jordan’s Public Security Directorate (PSD), which is the Kingdom’s counterintelligence agency operating under the Ministry of the Interior. The press release said a Syrian national had been arrested in Jordanian capital Amman following “intelligence tips”. Following his detention, the man allegedly told his interrogators that he was a member of a larger Syrian spy cell active in and around Amman. On Monday, PSD forces conducted simultaneous raids across Amman and the nearby city of irbid (50 miles north of the capital), and arrested another six Syrians. According to the PSD, the detainees were found to be in possession of 35 “advanced communications devices” that are “banned in the Kingdom of Jordan”. Sources tell intelNews that the devices are portable two-way radio transceivers, which appear to be satellite-enabled and to have encryption capabilities. In addition to the transceivers, Jordanian counterintelligence allegedly confiscated three laptop computers and a “night vision device”. Special Police Force spokesman Mohammed Khatib told reporters on Tuesday that the seven Syrians were collaborating with Jordanian authorities, but refused to provide specific information on their identities, condition or whereabouts. The government of Jordan said earlier this month that it currently hosts over 200,000 Syrian refugees on its soil as a result of the ongoing civil war in its neighboring country. Although the country has consciously tried to stay clear of involvement in the deepening Syrian crisis, many Jordanians believe it is only a matter of time before Syria’s destabilization begins to affect Jordanian politics and society. Last weekend, Jordanian police said that several “foreign armed groups” had been apprehended while trying to enter the country illegally. Another unidentified group was allegedly dismantled while planning a series of suicide attacks against shopping centers and foreign diplomatic missions in Amman.

2 Responses to Jordan claims arrest of seven-member Syrian spy cell in Amman

  1. Looks like the Syrian team were monitoring that large Syrian refegee population (in Jordan) – particularly anti-Syrian government rebel activities within that population.

    The Jordanian, NATO country or even Israeli military sigint arm may have detected the radio emissions of that Syrian Government(?) team. This will have indicated the location and mission of the team.

  2. Lazy G says:

    Night vision gear isn’t all that useful in a target rich environment, well at least in my experience. I don’t see the gear being useful for monitoring refugees. Hopefully the other poster can elaborate his thoughts.

    Now the satellite comm gear I get. The uplink frequencies are not as bare as they used to be regarding messaging. There are cargo monitoring devices that tweet on satellite. Also devices like the Inreach are cheap enough to be considered burners. It wouldn’t surprise me if the security services sniff hotels and other likely targets for uplinks.

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