AMMAN / Reuters
Jordan said it had foiled an IS plot that included plans for a series of attacks last November on security installations, shopping malls and moderate religious figures, state media reported. State news agency Petra said the country’s intelligence department had arrested 17 members of a cell and confiscated weapons and explosives that the militant group had planned to use in several operations. “The members of the cell had planned to execute a number of terrorist attacks simultaneously to destabilise national security and sow chaos and terror among civilians,” the statement said.
A security source said that members of the cell had been under surveillance from the start when they began to survey high profile civilian and military potential targets.
Security forces have been extra vigilant in recent months with warnings that sympathisers of IS could launch revenge attacks after the militants were driven out of most of the territory they once controlled in Syria and Iraq. The detainees, who were all from the working class city of Zarqa east of the capital, were being interrogated before being put on trial in a military court, the authorities said without giving a date.
The impoverished city of Zarqa, a traditional hotbed of fundamentalist extremists, has seen dozens of youths influenced by hardline extremist ideology joining radical groups in Iraq and Syria in recent years, according to security sources.