Jordanian officials uncovered plans for a major combined islamist terrorist attack that would have included a bombing at a shopping center in Amman and assassination attempts on Western diplomats, Jordanian state television reported Sunday.
With weapons and explosives smuggled from Syria, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist cell aimed to destabilize the country by carrying out a series of assassinations and suicide bombings aimed at westerners and commercial areas.
According to officials, the plot had been in the works since June. Eleven were arrested in connection with the planned attacks.
The plot is the first to be foiled in Jordan since Al-Qaeda, citing its rejection of Jordan's peace treaty with Israel and alliance with the United States, carried out three hotel bombings in Amman almost seven years ago, killing 60 people
Jordan has been and remains the most stable of Israel's neighbors and a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. The Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist cells linked to Al-Qaeda have called recently for the destabilization of Jordan, following successful campaigns to overthrow the governments of Egypt and Libya, and continuing efforts to overthrow the government of Syria.