Boston Marathon Bombing: Jordan Salafist Leader Celebrates

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Mohammad al-Chalabi
Mohammad al-Chalabi

While no terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility for the Boston Marathon bombing that killed at least three people and wounded more than 170, an extremist Muslim militant in Jordan has expressed his joy over the atrocity.

Mohammad al-Chalabi, the leader of a Jordanian Muslim Salafi group, said he was "happy to see the horror in America," the Associated Press reported.

"American blood isn't more precious than Muslim blood," he said early on Tuesday.

"Let the Americans feel the pain we endured by their armies occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and killing our people there."

Al-Chalabi was convicted in connection with an al-Qaeda-linked plot to attack U.S. and other Western targets in Jordan in 2003. He served seven years in prison.

Ironically, al-Chalabi’s Salafist organization is illegal in Jordan as it has long protested the Western tilt of King Hussein’s government.

The jihadist movement in Jordan -- which seeks to impose strict Islamic Sharia law -- is considered small and many of its members have been imprisoned.

Mohammad Abu Rumman, an expert on radical Islamist movements in Jordan, told BBC that he estimates there are no more than 1,300 Salafists in the country.

“The emergence of such extremist groups such as the Salafists in Jordan is always a reflection of the anger and disappointment by the people at large with some choosing to express this by joining such groups," said political analyst Labib Kamhawi.

"I always hold the government responsible for the emergence of such groups because of its policies of repression, discrimination, corruption, that make people really angry.”

Meanwhile, AP also reported that a Jordan-based Mideast counter-terrorism official said the Boston bomb blasts "carry the hallmark of an organized terrorist group, like al-Qaeda. From the little information available, one can say it was a well-coordinated, well-targeted and near-simultaneous attack.”

He added: ”Luckily, the amount of explosives used is small, judging from the casualty figure and explosion area."

 

 

 

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