Terrorist Spillover

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On June 6, five Jordanians were killed during an assault on a General Intelligence complex twelve miles north of Amman. The incident was Jordan’s largest terrorist attack in more than a decade. With its unabashedly pro-west, pro-peace orientation, King Abdullah’s Jordan has long been a target of Islamist militants, but the Islamic State constitutes an especially determined threat. Five years into the war in Syria, it increasingly appears that the Islamic State (ISIS) has established a base of support in the kingdom.      

This isn’t the first time Jordan has faced a persistent terrorist threat. Between 2002 and 2005, several al Qaeda attacks were perpetrated and interdicted in the kingdom, including the assassination of an American diplomat, the firing of missiles at U.S. warships docked in Aqaba port, and the simultaneous bombing of three Amman hotels. Since 2005, however, Jordan’s efficient security apparatus and a popular backlash against al Qaeda contributed to a decrease in local terrorist acts.

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