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Statement Calls Blasts in Jordan Justified

November 11, 2005|From Associated Press

CAIRO — After Jordanians took to the streets to call for Abu Musab Zarqawi to "burn in hell," a statement attributed to his militant group took the rare step Thursday of trying to justify the triple suicide bombings that killed 56 people, most of them Arabs.

Earlier Thursday, a website statement attributed to his group, which calls itself Al Qaeda in Iraq, claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attacks.

Then a second statement appeared, saying, "Let all know that we have struck only after becoming confident that they are centers for launching war on Islam and support the crusaders' presence in Iraq and the Arab peninsula and the presence of the Jews on the land of Palestine."

The statement asserted that the hotels that were hit were "favorite places for the work of the intelligence organs, especially those of the Americans, the Israelis and some Western European countries" for what the group called "invisible battles in the so-called war on terrorism."

The statement also maintained that the hotels were used by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a rear base "from which the convoys of the crusaders and the renegades head back and forth to the land of Iraq where Muslims are killed and their blood is shed."

Among the victims of Wednesday's bombings were 33 Jordanians, six Iraqis, two Bahrainis, a Syrian and a Saudi.

The statements' authenticity could not be verified, but they appeared on a website often used by Islamist militants.

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