by Taylor Luck | Oct 30, 2013 | 21:51
AMMAN — Police on Wednesday arrested two hard-line Islamists for alleged ties to Syrian jihadist groups, according to security sources.
Jamal Rayyan, a veteran leader of the Jordanian Jihadi Salafists was apprehended at his home in Baqaa and a second member of the movement was arrested in the southern city of Maan, the sources said.
Officials declined to disclose the charges facing the two men, only saying that they had “criminal records”.
Islamist sources confirmed the arrest, claiming that the men were detained for their ongoing support for Syrian jihadist groups.
According to Mousa Abdullat, defence attorney and legal representative of the Jihadi Salafist movement, the two men had actively encouraged Jordanians to provide support to Islamist groups battling Syrian government forces in Syria.
“These men did not threaten Jordan’s national security or a single person within the country’s borders,” Abdullat claimed.
“They have been arrested for speaking their views on the Syrian crisis and the need to end the bloodshed,” he charged.
The arrest raised to 52 the total number of Jordanian Islamists who have been detained for their alleged ties to Syrian jihadist groups.
With some 1,800 fighters, Jordanians currently comprise the largest foreign contingent fighting alongside Syrian jihadist forces — with 80 per cent fighting alongside Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat Al Nusra coalition and the rest with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and smaller Islamist groups.
In September, the State Security Court sentenced 11 Jordanians to prison terms ranging from one to five years on charges of unlawful acts “exposing the Kingdom and its citizens to danger”. The arrests come as part of an ongoing security crackdown, in which security forces have apprehended 15 foreign jihadists attempting to cross the country’s 370-kilometre shared border with Syria, according to official sources.