Jordan foiled ‘terrorist scheme’ to kill Shiite visitors, report says

Official paper says ISIS supporter was arrested in 2021 as tried to buy a rifle to carry out the plot

Jordanian intelligence foiled a “terrorist scheme” to kill Shiite visitors at a shrine in the centre of the kingdom two years ago, the official Al Rai newspaper said on Tuesday.

Details of the plot were revealed as officials from Jordan and Iran signalled a desire to improve ties following a Chinese-brokered rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia in March.

The paper said intelligence personnel arrested a male ISIS supporter who had monitored a shrine in the town of Al Mazar, located 130km south of Amman, in August 2021.

The shrine contains the grave of Jaafar Al Tayyar, a companion of the Prophet Mohammed who was killed in a battle against Byzantine forces in the seventh century.

The man observed the movement of people at the shrine’s entrance and exit, Al Rai said, citing official documents.

He sought to buy an automatic rifle to carry out the attack but was arrested before he could make a purchase, it said.

The State Security court charged him with “threatening to commit terrorist acts” and with “promoting the ideology of a terrorist group”.

He was found guilty and sentenced to five years in jail.

The sentence was then reduced to four years, the paper reported, because the man was young and the court wanted to give him “an opportunity to reform the course of his life”.

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