Jordan's king Abdullah II says suicide attacks targeted Jordanians, not Westerners

Jordan's King Abdullah II said Sunday that last week's suicide attacks by a group of Iraqis were aimed at Jordanians _ not foreigners.

Abdullah said the three hotels chosen by the al-Qaida cell members were frequented by Jordanians and Iraqis. Jordanian police said Sunday that they've captured an Iraqi woman who failed to detonate her explosives inside one of the hotels blown up by three other al-Qaida cell members, including her husband, on Wednesday.

The woman was identified as the sister of Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's former right hand man in Iraq's volatile Anbar province. Abdullah said that "all Jordanians are unified, in that they want the people who are responsible for these crimes to be brought to justice." In response to a question about polls that suggested support in Jordan for Islamic extremism and an unfavorable attitude toward the United States, the king said Jordanians were against attacks on civilians.

He said that Jordan is "suffering from the effects" of the U.S.-led Iraq war, "but we are all hoping, I think as is everybody in the world, that at the end of the day Iraq will be part of the international community."

The involvement of al-Zarqawi in the hotel bombings indicates that the feared terrorist or his leaders have deadly designs and abilities beyond war-ravaged Iraq's borders.

Al-Qaida in Iraq had already claimed responsibility for the bombings, which it said it launched to strike at Jordan's support for the United States and other Western powers, and because it accused Jordan of defiling Islam. Al-Zarqawi has been sentenced to death in absentia in Jordan for terror-related crimes there. He has vowed to topple the kingdom's moderate Hashemite rulers, АР reports.


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