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Jordan arrests 17 suspected of plotting attacks

An Islamic State (IS) group flag flutters above heavily damaged buildings in Raqa on October 21, 2017, after a Kurdish-led force expelled the jihadists from the northern Syrian city
BULENT KILIC (AFP)
They 'foiled... a major destructive terrorist plot planned by a terrorist cell loyal to Daesh'

Jordan's intelligence service said Monday it has arrested 17 people suspected of links to the Islamic State group and of planning attacks in the kingdom.

The service "foiled... a major destructive terrorist plot planned by a terrorist cell loyal to Daesh during November 2017," it said in a statement, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

The group had planned to carry out "several simultaneous terrorist attacks aimed at shaking national security, creating chaos and terrifying citizens," it said.

It did not specify the nationalities of those arrested, but said it had seized weapons and other materials that were to be used in the attacks.

The targets included "security and military bases, commercial centres, media channels and moderate clerics", and the suspects planned to fund them by robbing banks and selling stolen cars, the statement said.

The suspects were referred to the public prosecutor and charged with planning "terrorist acts", among other charges.

Jordan, a key US ally, has used its own air force and allowed US-led coalition forces to use its bases to battle IS in Iraq and Syria.

Thousands of Jordanians are believed to be followers of IS and Al-Qaeda.

The kingdom was hit by four attacks in 2016, including a suicide attack in June that killed seven guards near the border with Syria that was also claimed by IS.

In December 2016, an attack later claimed by IS killed seven policemen and two Jordanian civilians as well as a Canadian tourist, and wounded 34 others

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