Jordanian police arrest alleged shooter in intelligence base killings

Jordanian police arrest alleged shooter in intelligence base killings
Video: Jordanian authorities have arrested a suspect said to be responsible for Monday's shooting at a national intelligence office which left five agents dead.
2 min read
07 June, 2016

Jordan day terrorist attack

The man said to be responsible for a gun attack that killed five Jordanian intelligence agents at their office at the Baqaa Palestinian refugee camp on Monday has been arrested, authorities have said.

The gunman was arrested hours after the early morning shooting, during dramatic scenes at a mosque where a crowd apprehended the suspect.

The attack took place on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Police and local tribesmen arrested the 22-year-old militant suspect at a mosque in the Salt region, north of Amman, security sources told The New Arab.

"The suspect was released from prison a week ago and has three previous convictions related to recruiting militants. This was probably a revenge attack against authorities. His uncle is former member of parliament Mostafa Yaghi," they said.

The suspect was armed and resisted arrest, the sources said, adding that a police officer had been injured in the swoop.

Mobile phone footage has reportedly showed the suspect face-down on the floor of mosque with his hands tied by a man's traditional Jordanian "keffiyeh" headscarf.

Mohammed Momani, the government's spokesman, announced the arrest late on Monday without identifying the accused.

"Investigations are underway but early indications are that this was an isolated act," he said.


Momani labelled the incident a "terrorist attack".

The shooting took place before 7am with the assailant - firing from an automatic weapon - killing four guards and a receptionist before fleeing the scene.

The targeted security office faces the Baqaa camp, which was established almost half a century ago for Palestinian refugees displaced in the conflict with Israel.

The camp has a population of numbering tens of thousands, and is now home to many Syrian refugees who settled in Baqaa since the Syria conflict erupted in 2011.

Baqaa lies 20 kilometres north of central Amman and is the largest of the kingdom's ten official Palestinian refugee camps.

Several hours after the attack, the access road to the security compound was closed. Security agents were visible outside the building, including masked members of the counter-terrorism squad.

Such attacks are relatively rare in Jordan, even though the pro-Western kingdom is on the front line in the military campaign against Islamic State group [IS] extremists who control large areas of neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

Jordan's King Abdullah II vowed on Tuesday to act decisively against anyone who threatens the kingdom's security.

"Jordan will act with all firmness and force against anyone seeking to undermine its security," he said on a visit to the headquarters of the intelligence services, according to a statement from the royal palace.