Jordanians Rally to Denounce Al-Zarqawi
Hundreds of Jordanians have rallied to denounce Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born head of al Qaeda in Iraq, which has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s three bombing attacks in the capital city of Amman.
Hundreds of angry Jordanians rallied Thursday outside one of 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. In an Internet statement, al-Qaida in Iraq linked the blasts at the Grand Hyatt, the Radisson SAS and the Days Inn hotels to the war in Iraq and called Amman the “backyard garden” for U.S. operations. Police continued a broad security lockdown and authorities sent DNA samples for testing to identify the attackers. Land borders were reopened after being closed for nearly 12 hours.
The Amman protest was organized by Jordan’s 14 professional and trade unions Ã¢€” made up of both hard-line Islamic groups and leftist political organizations Ã¢€” traditionally a vocal critic of King Abdullah II’s moderate and pro-Western policies.
Protesters Ã¢€” including women and children Ã¢€” 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. “We sacrifice our lives for you, Amman!” the protesters chanted.
State television said a second rally was planned in the Red Sea port of Aqaba, where attackers using Katyusha rockets narrowly missed a U.S. ship and killed a Jordanian soldier in August.
The streets of the capital appeared deserted early Thursday, which was declared a day of mourning. Public and private offices were closed under government instructions, apparently to allow tightened security measures to take hold.
This may be a sign that Athena‘s prediction is right and that the backlash against the terrorists in the Muslim world is finally here. I certainly hope so.
It may also simply be a case of command performances in a dictatorial society. Since the protests are essentially being called for by the government, it’s quite difficult to guage the true level of outrage. Still, the fact that the organization is being attributed to groups that have been critical of the king is encouraging.