Jordanian security forces arrested a 17-member Islamic State terrorist cell that was plotting to kill Israeli businessmen and attack the U.S. Embassy in Amman and other targets in the Jordanian capital, the country’s Al Rai news site reported Tuesday (Feb. 27).
The terror cell, divided into three groups dedicated to various operational functions, also planned to attack the private Ro’ya television channel, the French Institute of Jordan, Jordanian Phosphate Company tunnels, a church, and a nightclub.
The unidentified key suspect, who was said to have been inspired by ISIS suicide bomber Mahmoud al Masharfeh, planned to attack a Jordanian intelligence office with automatic weapons he had obtained – a style similar to the of Masharfeh, who killed five Jordanian intelligence officers in a 2016 attack near Amman.
The security office, located about 21 kilometers (13 miles) north of Amman, was attacked on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It was the headquarters of the secret police in Baqa’a, a northern suburb of the Jordanian capital.
The Islamic State terrorist organization claimed responsibility for another attack that same year in which at least nine people were slaughtered at the famed Karak Castle and scores of others were wounded.
According to the report, the terrorist cell leader who was caught by Jordanian security personnel hoped to pave the way for Islamic State to gain a foothold in kingdom by undermining Jordanian national security.