Three unanswered questions about Jordanian police shooter Anwar Abu Zaid

Published November 11th, 2015 - 12:10 GMT
Jordan's government spokesperson Mohammad Momani is expected to make a statement about the motives behind the Jordanian police officer shooter, but plenty of clues hint this was no coincidence. (AFP/FIle)
Jordan's government spokesperson Mohammad Momani is expected to make a statement about the motives behind the Jordanian police officer shooter, but plenty of clues hint this was no coincidence. (AFP/FIle)

On Wednesday, Jordan's government spokesperson Mohammad Momani is expected to make a statement about the results of an investigation into Jordanian police officer shooter Anwar Abu Zaid.

So far, we know 28-year-old Zaid opened fire on a lunch hall in the US-funded Jordan International Police Training Center, just outside Amman, killing at least five—two American trainers, a South African and two Jordanians—and injured seven before being shot by police.

Several unanswered questions have drummed up responses online.

Many have been answered, but the question of motive has so far gone unaddressed by US and Jordanian officials. Still, reports on social media have suggested this attack did not come by accident.

Here are three points people are still discussing online.

1. Where did he get the weapon? Jordanian state news agency Petra recently released a report pointing out the weapon used by Zaid was a Kalashnikov, or AK 47. This Russian-made rifle shows up across the battlefields of Syria and Iraq but differs from the standard-issued US rifle, M16, indicating Zaid did not get the from US trainers. 

2. What prompted the attack? As details of the attacker emerged after the incident, Jordanian media organizations claimed Zaid had requested a removal from service several times without acceptance. Some analysts in the country say the attack was spurred by revenge for the rejection. 

3. Why now? Then there’s the timing. Ten years ago, some 60 people were killed and scores more injured in a string of suicide attacks on hotels in Amman. Jordan has since taken up an aggressive and very public position in the region's fight against Daesh, conducting airstrikes with the US-led campaign and allowing US-backed training sites for Syrian rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Many fear this ramped-up role could strew home-grown extremists to act out on Jordanian territory.

 

 


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