Scores arrested in connection with Aqaba rocket attack
Scores of suspects were arrested by Jordanian security officials on Sunday in connection with Friday's rocket attack on US warships in the Gulf of Aqaba.
One Jordanian soldier was killed in the attack, in which three Katyusha rockets were fired at the two warships, nearly hitting one but instead landing on Jordanian facilities, according to Awni Yarfas, Jordanian Minister of Interior.
One rocket hit a military hospital nearby while a third landed by the local airport in the nearby Israeli town of Eilat.
The detainees, who included Iraqis, Syrians, Egyptians as well as Jordanian citizens, were arrested after house-to-house searches in the Shalala quarter of the Red Sea port, according to the AP.
Apparently, a warehouse nearby where several unused Katyushas were found had been leased a few days prior by Iraqis and Egyptians.
The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a group connected with Al Qa'ida, claimed responsibility for the attacks. The same group claimed responsibility for the July attacks in Sharm El Sheikh which claimed the lives of 64 people.
According to Jordanian intelligence experts who believe that Al Qaeda's Abu Musab Al Zarqawi was behind the attacks, the incident signals the opening of a new front for Al Qaeda against one of the US's closest allies, according to <i>Reuters</i>.
“Zarqawi appreciates more than ever that by hitting the US military in Jordan he would score not just a symbolic victory but maybe disrupt a hitherto safe supply route for the US army into bases in the western desert (of Iraq),” expert stated.
Jordan has denied providing any logistical support to the US military campaign in Iraq. However, it has revealed its use of Jordan as a major supply route during its military campaign.