Married couple, 2 others behind Jordan attacks: Qaeda

Date: 11-11-05

DUBAI (Reuters) - An Iraqi married couple and two other men carried out the suicide bombings at three hotels in the Jordanian capital Amman which killed 57 people this week, al Qaeda in Iraq said in an Internet statement on Friday.

"A group of martyrdom-seekers carried out the planning and implementation. They comprised three men and a woman who decided to accompany her husband on the path to martyrdom," said the statement posted on a site often used by the al Qaeda in Iraq.

"It was agreed to use suicide belts for precision and to cause maximum damage," the statement said.

"The attackers managed to enter the targets bypassing all the security measures that the agent of the British, the treacherous (King) Abdullah, has always boasted about."

The statement said they were all Iraqis and gave their names.

At least 57 people were killed and 96 wounded when suicide bombers struck three hotels in Amman on Wednesday night. Most of the casualties were civilians attending wedding ceremonies.

On Thursday, the group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed to have carried out the attacks, saying the hotels were used by American and Israeli spies.

Jordan is one of two Arab countries that have signed a peace treaty with Israel. It is also a close U.S. ally in the region.

The group, based in Iraq, said that after this attack in the heart of Jordan it would soon be able to reach Jewish targets in neighboring Israel.

"Let the Jews be certain that their 'security wall' east of the Jordan river is now within our reach and it won't be long before the strikes of the mujahideen reach them too," it said.

The claims' authenticity could not be verified.



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