Jordan foils major terror plot, officials say
October 22, 2012 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
- NEW: The U.S. Embassy in Amman appeared to be among the targets, a source says
- The plot involved "11 terrorists associated with the ideology of Al Qaeda," Petra reports
- The plan would use "explosives, booby-trapped cars, submachine guns and mortars," Petra says
- The last Al Qaeda attack in Jordan targeted an Amman hotel November 9, 2005
Amman, Jordan (CNN) -- Jordan's intelligence department foiled "a major terrorist plot" that targeted "shopping centers, residential areas, diplomats and foreign nationals" in Jordan, the country's state news agency reported Sunday.
The U.S. Embassy in Amman appeared to be among the targets, a person familiar with the investigation told CNN Sunday.
The terrorists called their plan "9/11 (2)," suggesting it was set to happen on the seventh anniversary of the last al Qaeda attack in Jordan when suicide bombs exploded in an Amman hotel November 9, 2005, the report said.
The plot, which was in the preliminary stages, involved "a group of 11 terrorists associated with the ideology of al Qaeda," Petra reported.
All 11 suspects are Jordanian citizens who moved in and out of Syria, government spokesman Samih al-Maaytah said on state television Sunday.
"The group had intended to take advantage of what they believed was the Intelligence 'preoccupation' with other files, to carry out their plans," Petra reported.
The plans included "using explosives, booby-trapped cars as well as submachine guns and mortars," it said.
Suicide bombers were being selected to carry out attacks against two major shopping malls "in order to draw the attention of the security services away from" the "main objectives in Abdoun, in West Amman," the report said.
"Their objective was to create a highly destructive explosive that would cause the highest number of casualties and extensive physical damage," Petra reported. "They had planned to bring TNT explosives and mortar shells from Syria, exploiting the ongoing crisis there."
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