Amman: Jordan’s counter-terrorism forces have arrested the brother of an al-Qaida triple agent who blew himself up in a CIA outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, a Jordanian security official and two Islamist leaders said Tuesday.
The attack in the Afghan province of Khost killed seven CIA employees and was one of the worst tragedies in the history of the American intelligence agency.
A Jordanian security official said the arrested man, Ayman al-Balawi, 38, was detained in a sweep Friday along with 102 other members of the ultraconservative Muslim Salafi sect.
The sweep followed violent clashes with anti-government protesters in the eastern Jordanian city of Zarqa during which Salafis stabbed unarmed policemen with swords and knives, wounding 83 officers, and brandished bundles of barbed wire.
Salafis a banned sect which operates underground in Jordan have held a series of rallies in various parts of the country in recent weeks. Their demonstrations are separate from the four-month-old wave of anti-government protests demanding democratic reforms and inspired by uprisings in the Arab world.
The security official said today that Ayman al-Balawi is the brother of Humam al-Balawi, the Jordanian physician-turned-bomber who carried out the December 2009 strike in Khost.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the sweep with the media. He said al-Balawi was not in the Zarqa protest.
“He tried to resist the arrest but he was overwhelmed,” the official said. He said Ayman was arrested in his home in Nuzha which, like Zarqa, is a predominantly Palestinian refugee neighborhood in the heart of the Jordanian capital Amman.
Two militant Islamist leaders speculated that the arrest of Ayman, a known senior Salafi figure, was related to his recent call on an Islamic militant website urging followers to force the implementation of the strict Islamic Sharia law in Jordan.
The two leaders also spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, saying they feared police reprisals.
In his posting, Ayman argued that if Sharia law was in place in Jordan, it would help resolve the country’s economic and political problems, including what he described as “regime’s misdeeds.” Zee News