Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat- Jordan detained four Islamist deputies on Sunday for allegedly voicing sympathy for the slain al Qaeda leader in Iraq , Abu Musab al Zarqawi.
The four members of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan and the largest political bloc in parliament, were questioned by the prosecutor- general and detained over statements they gave in support of the Jordanian-born terrorist, killed on Wednesday in a joint US-Iraqi operation helped by tip-offs from Jordanian intelligence.
“They were held for questioning by the prosecutor-general and detained,” government spokesman Nasser Joudeh told Reuters without elaborating.
Earlier, Asharq al Awsat’s correspondent in Amman said the Jordanian authorities has arrested deputies Mohammed Abu Fares and Jaafar al-Hourani, and were looking for two others, Ali Abu Sukkar and Ibrahim al Mashwakhi.
Prior to his arrest, Abu Sukkar remained defiant and told Asharq al Awsat, “I will return to my house because I have no committed any crime, even if I expect being detained by the security services.”
One of the deputies, Abu Fares had attended prayers in the industrial city of Zarqa , 25km northeast of Amman for al Zarqawi’s soul during Friday prayers and called him “a martyr”. The three other deputies had visited al Zarqawi’s house, on Friday to give their condolences to his families.
Al Zarqawi’s family received hundreds of well-wishers who flocked to a tent set up near their home to pay their respects.
“The deputies should have parliamentary immunity and this shows how much the authorities have regard for democracy”, Zaki Bani Rushid, head of the IAF said.