Thursday marks the first day of a funeral service for Jordanian policeman Anwar Abu Zaid in the northern Jordanian city of Jerash.
Earlier this week, Abu Zaid opened fire on his colleagues at the Jordan International Police Training Center outside Amman in an attack with motives that have so far gone unexplained.
Local Arabic media said Tuesday Jordan's government spokesperson, Mohammad Momani, was expected to announce the results of an investigation soon, but it's been radio silence ever since—at least on the government's end.
By Thursday morning, new evidence emerged about an foreboding WhatsApp message sent out by Abu Zaid, Reuters reported, though the unnamed source did not say on what day the message was sent.
“When we prepare our luggage for a journey ... we fear we may forget something, however small, and the longer the journey, the stronger the concern that we won’t forget anything,” the source told Reuters the message said. “So what if we are going to a residence ... in paradise or hell."
The message has raised already-heightened fears of political motives behind the killing. While no group has so far claimed responsibility for the incident, the possibility of extremist intentions is looking increasingly likely. But relatives of the 29-year-old gunman tell a different story.
Ahead of his funeral Thursday, the family released a statement about the incident, calling on the Jordanian government to explain his killing, and rejecting the notion he may have been swayed by extremist ideology. Local Arabic media said the following about the statement (English translation):
The family of the attacker Anwar Abu Zaid stated this morning (Wednesday) their approval to receive his body and bury it Thursday afternoon without knowing the name of the person that shot him.
The family also stated that they are waiting for the final result of the investigation and they are ready to pay all their dues for the families of the deceased people in case the investigation proved their son’s responsibility.
By Alisa Reznick