Israel have prior knowledge of the terror attacks on three hotels in
Amman, Jordan, which led to the death of 57 people?
According to an official Jordanian statement, the casualties
included 33 Jordanians, six Iraqis, two Bahrainis, three Chinese, an
Indonesian, a Syrian, a Saudi and an American.
Israeli Citizens evacuated prior to the Blast
At least two authoritative news sources cast doubt on the official version of events.
According to Haaretz, Israel managed, with the cooperation of the
Jordanian security forces, to discreetly evacuate several Israeli
citizens prior to the blast, who were staying at the Radisson SAS
"A number of Israelis staying yesterday at the Radisson SAS were
evacuated before the bombing by Jordanian security forces, apparently
due to a specific security alert. They were escorted back to Israel by
The Foreign Ministry stated yesterday that no Israeli tourists are
known to have been injured in the blasts. Representatives of Israel's
embassy in Amman were I contact with local authorities to examine any
report of injured Israelis, but none were received."(Scores dead in
three Amman hotel bombings; Israelis evacuated before attack, by Yoav
Stern and Zohar Blumenkrantz, Haaretz, 9 November 2005, italics added)
Moreover, a report published in The Los Angeles Times, quoting an
authoritative source, also suggests that Israeli intelligence had prior
knowledge of the attacks and failed to intervene:
"Amos N. Guiora, a former senior Israeli counter-terrorism official,
said in a phone interview with The Times that sources in Israel had
also told him about the pre-attack evacuations.
"It means there was excellent intelligence that this thing was going
to happen," said Guiora, a former leader of the Israel Defense Forces
who now heads the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy at Case
Western Reserve University in Cleveland. (LA Times, 11 November
According to Amos N. Guiora:
"The question that needs to be answered is why weren't the
Jordanians working at the hotel similarly removed?" (quoted in LA
Times, op. cit)
No doubt under pressure from both the Israeli and Jordanian
authorities, Yoav Stern and Zohar Blumenkrantz who authored the first
report in Haaretz on November 9, retracted their statement to the
effect that the Israeli citizens had been evacuated prior to the
"There is no truth to reports that Israelis staying at the Radisson
SAS hotel in Amman on Wednesday were evacuated by Jordanian security
forces before the bombing that took place there. The Israelis were
escorted back to Israel by Jordanian security personnel only after the
attacks had taken place, contrary to earlier reports." (No truth to
report of Israeli evacuations before Amman bombs, By Yoav Stern,
Haaretz, 10 November 2005)
Ironically, the following day, in the November 11 issue of Haaretz, the retraction had been retracted. The author's of the November 9 article Yoav Stern and Zohar Blumenkrantz had reaffirmed their earlier report:
An Israeli Arab businessman was one of the casualties in the
multi-pronged terror attacks, the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said
Thursday. Two high-ranking Palestinian security officials were also
said to be among the dead. ...It was still unclear whether there were
any other Israeli casualties in the attack. (...)
before the bombings, many Israelis were evacuated from the Radisson
SAS, one of the hotels hit in the attacks, apparently due to a specific
security alert." (Haaretz, 11 November 2005, italics added).
Head of Palestinian Intelligence dies in Attacks
Three high-ranking Palestinian intelligence officials including
Maj.-Gen. Bashir Nafeh, head of the Palestinian Authority's military
intelligence and Col. Abed Allun, a high-ranking Preventive Security
forces official, who were staying at the Hyatt Hotel were also killed
in the blast. .
In this regard, Russian analyst Shamil Sultanov of the Russian
Duma's International Affairs Committee has pointed to an "Israeli
connection". According to Sultanov, in a radio interview, the death of
Maj General Bashir Nafeh "has furthered the chances of Muhammad Dahlan"
(who currently occupies the position of Minister of Civilian Affairs),
to replace Mahmud Abbas as leader of the Palestinian National
Authority. Sultanov suggests that this change in leadership within the
Palestinian Authority would serve Israeli interests:
"If you consider these blasts, there are two key points, from my
point of view. First, Jordan is a key player here for the Americans.
The stance of the new king, Abdallah II, who, by the way is
half-English, is fairly complex because contradictions have arisen
between the old Jordanian team and the king in the last six months,
even the last year. And in principle what has just happened is a very
good opportunity for Abdallah II to make certain changes, to put it
mildly, to his team and to strengthen his personal authority, and so on.
And the second theory I adhere to is the Israeli connection.
Abu-Mazin [Mahmud Abbas], the leader of the Palestinian National
Authority, is seriously ill. And many believe that his Fatah party may
not win with such a leader, that it will definitely not win the
parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in the next few months.
So for a very large number of players - for the Americans, for Israel,
for Sharon, for the Egyptians - [Palestinian Minister of Civilian
Affairs Muhammad] Dahlan would be the optimal player and politician to
replace Abu-Mazin. In that sense, these explosions, and in particular
the murder, as a result of one of the blasts, of Bashir Nafi, the
Palestinian National Authority's military intelligence chief in the
West Bank, is, from my point of view, a clearing of the way for Dahlan."( Radio Mayak, Moscow, in Russian, 1214 gmt 11 Nov 05, BBC Monitoring)
This Russian viewpoint is consistent with other assessments on the
role of Dahlan, who actively collaborated from 1994 to 2001 with the
Israeli IDF and Shin Bet in the crackdown and arrest of Hamas leaders.
According to GlobalSecurity.org:
"Both Israel and the US [have] groomed Dahlan as a successor to Arafat" .
Chinese Defense Delegation
According to CNN, there were three Chinese "students" among the
dead. The official reports, however, confirm that the three Chinese
were in fact members of a Chinese Defense delegation to Jordan from
China's National Defense University. Beijing has rushed a high level
investigative team integrated by China's ministries of Foreign Affairs
and Defense to Amman with a view to investigating the deaths of the
three Chinese military personnel.
Moreover, Dr Ghalib Abd-al-Mahdi, a senior Iraqi economic official
and brother of Iraqi Vice-President Adil Abd-al-Mahdi, was also killed
in the blasts
Joint Intelligence Agreement between Israel and Jordan
According to an Israeli radio report, the attacks have open the way
towards the signing of a joint intelligence agreement between
Israel and Jordan.
"Jordan is in the process of signing a joint security
agreement and the establishment of an operations room for combating
terrorism in cooperation with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian
National Authority." (Journalist quoted in Jordanian foreign minister's
news conference, 13 November 2005)
The attacks were immediately described by the Western media, without
corroborating evidence and prior to the conduct of an investigation, "
as bearing the hallmarks of Al Qaeda."
A statement allegedly written by "Al Qaeda in Iraq" was posted on a
mysterious Islamist website. The web posting, which claimed
responsibility for the attacks,. stated that the attacks were in
response to "the conspiracy against the Sunnis whose blood and honor
were shed by Crusaders and the Shiites".
Aired on network TV around the World, the attacks were followed by
organized mass rallies and demonstrations across Amman directed against
terrorist mastermind Al Zarqawi.
What the Western media, however, has failed to report, is the
atmosphere of disbelief and skepticism which characterizes Jordanian
public opinion. Openly discussed and debated on the streets of Amman,
as confirmed by a recent article in the New York Times (November 12,
2005), many Jordanians believe that Israel is behind the bombings.
|ANNEX: PRIOR EVACUATION OF ISRAELI CITIZENS, HAARETZ, NOV 11, 2005
This article appeared on November 11, one day after Haaretz
retracted the story in its November 10 issue. For the record we are
reproducing below both articles. We have highlighted the
relevant paragraphs in bold-italics
King Abdullah cancels trip to Israel after Amman triple suicide bombing
|By Yoav Stern and Zohar Blumenkrantz, Haaretz Correspondents, and News Agencies|
Friday, November 11, 2005
[link to original article http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/643639.html]
on Thursday evening says Jordan's King Abdullah II has canceled a
planned trip to Israel after at least 57 people were killed in
simultaneous suicide bombings at three hotels the Jordanian capital of
Amman on Wednesday night.
An Israeli Arab businessman was one of
the casualties in the multi-pronged terror attacks, the Foreign
Ministry in Jerusalem said Thursday. Two high-ranking Palestinian
security officials were also said to be among the dead.
Fathi Mahajna, 40, from the nothern town of Umm al-Fahm, was a guest at
a wedding held at the Radisson Hotel and his body was taken to the
Jordan University Hospital in Amman, where it was identified by a local
The family of Mahajna headed to Amman on Thursday morning. Mahajna was to be buried in his hometown on Thursday at 7 P.M.
was still unclear whether there were any other Israeli casualties in
the attack. Hours before the bombings, many Israelis were evacuated from the Radisson SAS, one of the hotels hit in the attacks, apparently due to a specific security alert.
than 115 people were wounded in the bombings at the Radisson, Days Inn
and Grand Hyatt, where the bomber is believed to have blown up in a
banquet hall where a wedding reception was underway. The Radisson is
known to be popular with Israeli tourists.
"There were three
terrorist attacks on the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels
and it is believed that the blasts were suicide bombings," police
spokesman Major Bashir al-Da'aja told The Associated Press. He declined
Most of the victims of the attacks were Jordanian, said Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muashar said.
Al-Qaida in Iraq posted a statement in an Arabic Internet site in which it claimed responsibility for the bombings.
claim of responsibility, signed in the name of the spokesman for the
group Al-Qaida in Iraq, said that "after studying and watching the
targets, places were chosen to carry out an attack on some hotels that
the tyrant of Jordan has made the backyard garden for the enemy of the
religion - Jews and crusaders."
Hundreds of angry Jordanians
rallied Thursday outside one of the three U.S.-based hotels attacked by
suicide bombers, shouting, "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!" after
the terrorist's group claimed responsibility for the blasts that killed
at least 56 people, including an
including women and children - gathered outside a bombed hotels,
shouting, "Death to al-Zarqawi, the villain and the traitor!" Drivers
honked the horns of vehicles decorated with Jordanian flags and posters
of the king. A helicopter hovered overhead.
Jordan rounds up first suspects
Jordan's King Abdullah II
chaired a meeting with his security chiefs, just hours after returning
home from a trip abroad and inspecting the still-smoldering sites.
security forces snared a group of Iraqi suspects in the triple hotel
bombings that killed at least 56 people, and officials said Thursday
one of the bombers spoke Iraqi-accented Arabic before he exploded his
suicide belt in the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
A senior security
official linked the bombings to Jordan's war-ravaged eastern neighbor,
saying the Hyatt bomber spoke with an Iraqi accent and several other
Iraqis have been detained.
Security staff patrolling the Hyatt
stopped the middle-aged terrorist as he was wandering the lobby. He
spoke briefly to the guards before detonating the explosives strapped
underneath his Western-style suit, the official said on condition of
anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak to the media.
those arrested there were different nationalities, including Iraqis and
other Arabs, and not only Jordanians," the official added.
official, insisting on anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to
the press, said that DNA tests were being carried out to determine the
identity of the perpetrators, including two suicide bombers who blew
themselves up in two of the separate hotel attacks. A third suicide
attacker used a car to attack the third hotel.
Palestinian officials among dead
Two high-ranking Palestinian
security officials, a senior Palestinian banker and the commercial
attache at the Palestinian embassy in Cairo died in the bombings in
Jordan, the Palestinian envoy to Amman said on Thursday.
Bashir Nafeh, the head of military intelligence in the West Bank, and
Col. Abed Allun, a high-ranking Preventive Security forces official,
were killed in the attack at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Ambassador Attala
Kheri told The AP in a telephone interview.
Jihad Fatouh, the
commercial attache at the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo, and Mosab
Khorma, deputy Chairman of Cairo-Amman Bank in the Palestinian
territories, were also killed in the three nearly simultaneous suicide
bombings on American-owned hotels in the Jordanian capital on Wednesday
night, Kheri said.
The Palestinian Authority ordered Palestinian flags lowered to half-staff for one day, and declared a three-day mourning period.
a very sad day for Palestinians, and we extend our condolences to King
Abdullah and the Jordanian people," Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia told
reporters. "We condemn this attack vehemently. It's a criminal attack
that targeted innocent civilians."
Jordan's King Abdullah II
condemned the attacks as "criminal acts committed by a deviant and
misleading bunch" and said they would not sway Jordan from continuing
its battle against terrorism. He cut short his official visit to
Kazakhstan to return home.
"The hand of justice will get to the
criminals who targeted innocent secure civilians with their cowardly
acts," he said in a statement carried by the official Petra news agency.
Minister Ariel Sharon called King Abdullah and expressed his
condolences. He told the Jordanian King the entire world must unite in
the war against terror.
U.S. President George W. Bush condemned the bombings and offered U.S. assistance in the investigation.
president condemns in the strongest possible terms the vicious
terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in Amman, Jordan," said a
statement by White House spokesman Scott McClellan.
"Jordan is a
close friend of the United States, and we will offer every possible
form of cooperation in investigating these attacks and assisting in
efforts to bring these terrorists to justice," he added.
Israelis allowed to return
A Jordanian police official
said the attacks hit minutes before 9 P.M. in two districts in the
Jordanian capital, including the commercial areas of Jebel Amman and
al-Rabiyeh, which houses the Israeli Embassy.
The Allenby border crossing between Israel and Jordan was opened to allow Israelis to leave the Hashemite Kingdom immediately.
The first bomber struck the Grand Hyatt, completely shattering the stone entrance.
Police said a second explosion hit the nearby Radisson SAS hotel where about 250 people were attending a wedding reception.
The Radisson in particular is popular with Israeli tourists and was a target of several foiled Al-Qaida plots in the past.
attacks carry the hallmark of Al-Qaida," one police official said on
condition of anonymity in line with police regulations. "However it is
not certain. We are investigating."
Ayman al-Safadi, editor of Jordan's Al-Ghad newspaper, told Al-Arabiya satellite network that it was a "terrorist operation."
the terrorists succeeded in breaking the security in Jordan," he said,
referring to past success in foiling many terror plots.
Grand Hyatt and Radisson SAS hotels, in the Jebel Amman district, are
located about one kilometer apart and are frequented by American and
European businessmen and diplomats. The Days Inn is located three
An American businessman who was at the Grand
Hyatt when the explosion occurred, said that it was caused by a "bomb
that went off in the lobby." He declined to identify himself.
"It was a miracle that we made it out with a scratch," said a British guest at the Grand Hyatt.
thought it was fireworks for the wedding but I saw people falling to
the ground," said Ahmed, a wedding guest at the Radisson who did not
give his surname. "I saw blood. There were people killed. It was ugly."
was beefed up across the capital, especially around hotels and
diplomatic missions, police said. Several armed policemen and cars were
patrolling the streets of Amman, where Jordanian Prime Minister Adnan
Badran declared Thursday a national holiday - apparently in order to
allow tightened security measures to take hold.
Jordan, a key
ally of both the United States and Israel, had largely escaped the
terror attacks that have hit other parts of the Middle East, and its
sleepy capital, Amman, is viewed as a haven of stability in the region.
Jordan has not been entirely immune: On August 19, militants fired
three Katyusha rockets at a Navy ship docked at the Red Sea resort of
Aqaba, narrowly missing it and killing a Jordanian soldier.
officials blamed that attack on Al-Qaida in Iraq, and there have been
growing worries that the violence in Iraq could spill over into Jordan,
where many Iraqi exiles have taken refuge from the violence.
has arrested scores of Islamic militants for plotting to carry out
attacks in the moderate Arab kingdom. It has also sentenced numerous
militants to death in absentia, including the Jordanian-born leader of
al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
copyright Haaretz, 2005. Emphasis added
|No truth to report of Israeli evacuations before Amman bombs|
|By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent|
November 10 2005
[link to original article http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/643661.html]
is no truth to reports that Israelis staying at the Radisson SAS hotel
in Amman on Wednesday were evacuated by Jordanian security forces
before the bombing that took place there.
The Israelis were
escorted back to Israel by Jordanian security personnel only after the
attacks had taken place, contrary to earlier reports.
Qaida said Thursday that it had carried out the triple suicide bombings
at the Radisson, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels in downtown Amman, in
which at least 57 people, including an Israeli, were killed.
Representatives of Israel's
embassy in Amman were in contact with local authorities to examine any
report of injured Israelis, but none were received. There are often a
number of Israeli businessman and tourists in Amman, including in the
hotels hit Wednesday.
Israel's counter-terror headquarters on
Wednesday recommended Israeli citizens not travel in Jordan. Travel
warnings regarding Jordan were tightened a few months ago, but many
Israelis still visit the country. Many also visit other regions such as
the Jordanian Arava and the ancient city of Petra.
Copyright Haaretz 2005. Emphasis added.