Jordan militants support Daesh ideology, says interior minister

Samir Mobaideen, Jordan's interior minister, said three people killed during a weekend raid were supporters of Daesh. (Reuters)
Updated 14 August 2018

Jordan militants support Daesh ideology, says interior minister

  • Militants from Daesh and other radical groups have long targeted Jordan and dozens of militants are serving long prison terms
  • Jordanian security forces have been extra vigilant having warned that sympathizers of Daesh could launch revenge attacks after militants were driven out of most of the territory

AMMAN: Militants behind an attack on Jordanian police supported Daesh and investigations had revealed plans for more attacks on security and civilian targets, Jordan’s Interior Minister Sameer Al-Mobaideen said on Monday.
Jordanian police said on Saturday a homemade explosive device planted near a police van killed a policeman and injured six others the day before.
The police vehicle had been maintaining security near a music festival in the majority Christian town of Fuhais, near the capital Amman and 15 km from the hillside city of Salt.
In a huge security operation, Jordanian forces laid siege to a building in a residential part of Salt on Saturday night in search of those responsible for the bomb attack.
After the suspected militants refused to heed calls to surrender, the security forces stormed the building in a shootout that resulted in the death of three militants and four security personnel, police said. Ten members of the security forces were also injured.
The minister said the militants, who blew up part of the building when the security forces stormed it, did not belong to a specific group but subscribed to Daesh ideology.
Militants from Daesh and other radical groups have long targeted Jordan and dozens of militants are serving long prison terms.
“There were plots to wage a series of terror attacks that sought security points and popular gatherings. We know the targets but we won’t tell them so people won’t get terrified,” Mobaideen said.
King Abdullah warned on Saturday the perpetrators of the attack would pay dearly.

Secret probe
The king has been among the most vocal leaders in the region in warning of threats posed by radical groups.
The group were all Jordanian and there were no signs so far they had foreign links, Al-Mobaideen said, refusing to give names of suspects.
“The investigations are secret and ongoing,” he told a news conference.
Alongside automatic weapons in the suspect’s possession, the authorities found a location where chemical ingredients for manufacturing explosives were buried, Al-Mobaideen added.
Gen.Hussein Hawatmeh, head of Jordan’ Gendarmerie, said the militant cell was recently set up and there were indications its members had embraced radical ideology.
“What is dangerous is that these new recruits are more impulsive than those with experience in executing operations that harm Jordan’s security,” Hawatmeh said.
Jordanian security forces have been extra vigilant having warned that sympathizers of Daesh could launch revenge attacks after militants were driven out of most of the territory they once controlled in Syria and Iraq.
Intelligence officials and some experts believe widening social disparities and a perception of official corruption are fueling a rise in radicalization among disaffected youths in a country with high unemployment and growing poverty.


Protests hinder Yemen’s efforts to combat coronavirus

Updated 25 min 22 sec ago

Protests hinder Yemen’s efforts to combat coronavirus

  • Amid complaints about the city’s poor health facilities, hospital staff and fearful residents began protesting

AL-MUKALLA: As workers in Yemen’s major port Aden began preparing a coronavirus quarantine facility at Al-Sadaqa Hospital, rumors swirled around the city claiming that if patients were locked inside the hospital, the disease would quickly spread through neighboring areas. 

Amid complaints about the city’s poor health facilities, hospital staff and fearful residents began protesting. People living nearby besieged the hospital, while health workers inside staged a sit-in, refusing to work unless the Health Ministry canceled plans to build the isolation room.

“They threatened to kill me,” Dr. Wafaa Dahbali, Al-Sadaqa Hospital manager, told Arab News.

The hospital’s administration was forced to ask the Health Ministry to move the facility to another location, she said.

“Now we cannot even bring in basic protective items such as masks or gloves since workers will think we still plan to build the quarantine room,” she added.

Yemen, which is gripped by a civil war that has killed thousands of people since late 2014, has intensified efforts to counter coronavirus. But due to crumbling heath services, lack of awareness among people and the influx of hundreds of African migrants via the southern coastline, health officials fear the virus could spread undetected across the country.

Yemen’s Ministry of Health in Aden on Wednesday said that Yemen is free of the disease and all Yemenis returning from China had tested negative. Health Minister Nasir Baoum opened a quarantine center at Seiyun Airport in the southeastern province of Hadramout on Sunday, and said that he had ordered all sea, land and air entry points to ramp up detection measures.

Financial constraints

Health officials across Yemen told Arab News this week that health facilities are working at full capacity to cope with the influx of war casualties, and cases of seasonal diseases such as cholera, dengue fever and H1N1.

The appearance of coronavirus in Yemen would increase the burden on the country’s crumbling and cash-strapped health facilities, they said.

Ibn Sina Hospital in Al-Mukalla provides health services to patients from the three southern provinces of Hadramout, Shabwa and Mahra in addition to treating victims of the conflict in Abyan and Jawf. 

Recently the Health Ministry decided to build a quarantine center at the hospital. Lacking sufficient space, a three-room kitchen was turned into an isolation facility.

However, Dr. Alabed Bamousa, the hospital’s director, told Arab News that the facility could not afford to furnish the unit with medical equipment and staff lacked proper know-how.

“We have nothing at the moment. We asked the ministry for the names of health workers who would be trained by the World Health Organization on dealing with coronavirus patients,” Bamousa said.

He said that workers are not being encouraged to wear masks and gloves in order to avoid triggering panic. 

“My viewpoint is that we shut up till we are ready,” Bamousa said.

Health officials at Al-Mukalla, one of Yemen’s busiest ports, have asked sailors to complete declarations showing their movements before docking.

Riyadh Al-Jariri, head of the Health Ministry’s Hadramout office, said that teams of six health workers in each district in the province are visiting Yemenis who have returned from China. 

In the streets, people say that they get information about the virus from social media rather than official channels or local media outlets.

Hassan, a shopkeeper, said that he learned about symptoms of coronavirus and protection measures from WhatsApp. 

“I know that the virus targets the lung and causes fever. We are advised to wash hands and wear marks,” he said.