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Jordanians Denounce Al-Zarqawi Threats - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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RUSSEIFA, Jordan, AP – Jordanians reacted defiantly Saturday to threats by the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq to attack more targets in their country and to kill their king.

An audiotape purportedly from the Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi warned Friday of further attacks against hotels, tourist sites and military bases in Jordan and threatened to kill King Abdullah II.

&#34He wouldn”t dare,&#34 said Badour Ashour, a veiled 23-year-old in an Amman square, complaining that the terror leader had ruined the reputation of Islam. &#34Jordan will remain united like one hand and our determination is one.&#34

Jordanians have rallied angrily against al-Qaida in Iraq and al-Zarqawi following the Nov. 9 triple hotel attacks that killed 62 people, including the three bombers.

The group issued a statement defending its actions, and al-Zarqawi”s audiotape gave further excuses, alleging that the target of the Radisson SAS bomber was not the wedding party — where 30 people were killed — but a meeting of American and Israeli intelligence.

&#34What he said is untrue,&#34 said Sheik Abu-Emad, worshipping at Al-Hujjaj Mosque in Russeifa, a town some 15 miles northeast of Amman known to be home to Muslim extremists.

&#34He killed Muslims at a wedding party. These innocent people had nothing to do with his war against the Americans and the Jews,&#34 he said.

Abu Ramah, also at the mosque, said he supported targeting Americans but suggested the attackers &#34should make sure that there are no Muslims in the vicinity.&#34

He excused the threat to attack hotels, saying it was &#34shameful&#34 to work at or go near such places. &#34Muslims who go to these places commit a sin.&#34

In the streets of Amman, though, most were defiant or dismissive of the new threats.

&#34He”s making a publicity stunt,&#34 said 23-year-old Mohammed Al-Samaadi. &#34He won”t be able to do anything in Jordan or even reach Jordan.&#34

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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