Jordan arrests 20 suspected jihadists
Security services have arrested 20 members of the hard-line Jordanian Salafist movement over the past two weeks over suspected ties to the Islamic State (IS) extremist militant group active in Iraq and Syria, Islamist and security sources said Sunday.
Islamist sources claim that police targeted the men — who hail from Amman and Zarqa — for their alleged support for IS and participation in a pro-IS rally in Zarqa, 22km east of Amman, late last month.
“These young men were arrested for expressing their political briefs in an attempt to discourage citizens from showing their support for IS,” charged Moussa Abdallat, defence attorney for half of the detainees.
Security sources confirmed that 20 suspected jihadists had been arrested due to “security concerns”. As of Sunday, the men had not been charged.
Government officials declined to comment on the arrests, which come two weeks after hard-line Islamists took to the streets in Zarqa in what marked the largest pro-IS rally to date.
During the rally, which was held following Eid Al Fitr prayers on July 28, Jihadi Salafists and IS supporters celebrated the extremist militant group’s gains in Iraq and urged Jordanians to “submit to the caliphate” in reference to the supposed Islamic state declared by the hard-line group last month.