Jordan foils Iranian plot to carry out sabotage operations with weapons

15-05-2024 10:34 AM

Ammon News - An official source stated that the Jordanian security services thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons into the Kingdom sent by militias supported by one of the countries to a cell in Jordan.

The source explained that the quantity was confiscated when the cell members, who were Jordanians, were arrested in late last March, indicating that investigations and operations are still ongoing to reveal more about this operation.

In recent months, security services have thwarted numerous attempts to smuggle weapons, including Claymore mines, C4 explosives, Semtex, Kalashnikov rifles, and 107 mm Katyusha rockets, the source said.

Reuters also quoted two Jordanian sources as saying that Jordan has foiled a suspected Iranian-led plot to smuggle weapons into the U.S.-allied kingdom to help opponents of the ruling monarchy carry out acts of sabotage.

The weapons were sent by Iranian-backed militias in Syria to a cell of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan that has links to the military wing of Palestinian group Hamas, the people told Reuters.

They said the plot's aim was to destabilize Jordan, adding that the cache was seized when members of the cell were arrested in late March.

The two Jordanian sources, who requested anonymity to discuss security matters, declined to say what acts of sabotage were allegedly being planned, citing ongoing investigations and covert operations.

The sources didn't specify what weapons were seized in the March raid, though said in recent months security services have thwarted numerous attempts by Iran and its allied groups to smuggle in arms including Claymore mines, C4 and Semtex explosives, Kalashnikov rifles and 107mm Katyusha rockets.

However, some of the weapons - including those seized in March - were intended for use in Jordan by the Brotherhood cell, they said.

"They hide these weapons in pits called dead spots, they take their location via GPS and photograph their location and then instruct men to retrieve them from there," said one of the sources, an official with knowledge of security matters, referring to the modus operandi of the smugglers.

A senior representative of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood confirmed that some of its members were arrested in March in possession of weapons but said whatever they did was not approved by the group.

"There is dialogue between the Brotherhood and the authorities. They know if there are mistakes it's not the MB, only individuals and not MB policy," said the representative, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Another senior figure in Brotherhood, who also requested anonymity, told Reuters the arrested cell members had been recruited by Hamas chief Saleh al-Arouri, who masterminded the Palestinian group's operations in the West Bank from exile in Lebanon.

Spokespeople for the Jordanian government and the U.S. Department of Defense declined to comment.

A diplomat close to Tehran said the Iranian ambition to establish a proxy foothold in Jordan went back to Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated by the U.S. in 2020.

Soleimani believed that given Jordan's strong ties with the U.S. and the West, building up an allied group there capable of fighting Israel was crucial to Tehran's strategic ascendancy in the region, the diplomat told Reuters.

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