The death toll has risen to eight in the deadly shooting attack Monday by a Jordanian police officer who aimed his weapon at his instructors during a training session at the Jordan International Police Training Center in Muwaqar, near Amman.
The attack took place on the tenth anniversary of Al Qaeda suicide bombings that killed 57 at three luxury hotels in Amman. It was the worst terrorist attack in the history of Jordan.
At least two of the victims were identified as American civilian instructors working as contractors at the site. A third victim was a South African trainer, and a fourth was a Jordanian national who was working as a translator at the facility. Four others were believed to have been Lebanese nationals, according to Jordanian media.
According to a U.S. statement, the two Americans were training Palestinian Authority security forces on behalf of the State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau.
“We are treating this very seriously,” President Barack Obama told media who snapped photos and recorded his statement as he sat with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on Monday.
“We will be working closely with the Jordanians,” the president said. “A full investigation is underway, and the families have been informed. Our deepest condolences are going out to them,” Obama said.
The killer was described as a senior co-trainer and captain by U.S. government sources. He was shot and killed by Jordanian security forces.
“This incident sadly does not come as a surprise, as the threat of Islamist terrorism has only increased in the region in the last few years in the aftermath of Syria and Iraq,” a senior Jordanian official told media, requesting anonymity. “As much as pre-emptive measures have been taken, it is impossible to eradicate all risks.”
The attacker, who worked at the King Abdullah Training Center, was a police captain and co-trainer according to the source. Further information about his identity and background was not made available.