The 2005 Amman bombings
were a series of coordinated bomb attacks on three hotel lobbies in Amman
, on 9 November 2005. The explosions
at the Grand Hyatt Hotel
, the Radisson SAS Hotel
, and the Days Inn
started at around 20:50 local time (18:50 UTC
) at the Grand Hyatt.
The three hotels are frequented by foreign diplomats
. The bomb at the Radisson SAS exploded in the Philadelphia Ballroom, where a Jordanian wedding hosting hundreds of guests was taking place. The attacks killed 57 people and injured 115 others.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq
was quick to claim the attack.
The bombings, a rare terror attack in Jordan, then spurred a wave of new anti-terror measures by the Jordanian government.
At the Radisson SAS Hotel (now known as the "Landmark Hotel"), two suicide bombers (a husband and wife team—Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari and Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi
)—entered the Philadelphia Ballroom, where Ashraf Akhras and his bride, Nadia Al-Alami, were celebrating their wedding with around 900 Jordanian and Palestinian guests. Sajida al-Rishawi was unable to detonate her belt. Her husband Ali al-Shamari, apparently admonished her and told her to get out of the room. As she was leaving, the lights went out in the ballroom, Ali jumped onto a dining-room table and detonated himself. Among the 38 people killed in the explosion were the fathers of the bride and groom.
In addition, the explosion destroyed the ballroom, blew out the large windows bordering the street, and knocked down ceiling panels. The hotel lobby was also affected: ceiling panels and light fixtures collapsed, furniture was destroyed, and the hotel's glass doors were shattered. Cleanup and rebuilding commenced shortly afterwards. The hotel was actually targeted in the 2000 millennium attack plots
nearly six years prior, but the plan was foiled.
The second blast happened about 500 yards (457 metres) from the Radisson SAS. It destroyed the hotel's entrance and brought down pillars and ceiling tiles, along with badly damaging the reception and bar areas. After the bomber ordered orange juice in the hotel's coffee shop, he went to another room (possibly to get his explosive belt) and then came back and detonated his bomb. Seven hotel employees were killed in this blast, as were Syrian-American
movie producer Moustapha Akkad
and his daughter, Rima.
Akkad, who is best known for producing the Halloween
series of slasher films
, was also the producer of Mohammad, Messenger of God
. At the time of his death, he was in the early stages of producing a film about Saladin
, the Kurdish
Muslim leader who expelled the Crusaders
from the Levant. Hyatt began cleanup shortly after the attacks and reopened their hotel on November 19.
At the Days Inn, the bomber entered the restaurant on the hotel's ground floor. He tried to detonate his explosive belt but had trouble; a waiter noticed this and called security. The bomber ran outside the hotel and successfully detonated himself, killing three members of a Chinese military delegation. Property damage at the Days Inn was expected to amount to around $200,000.
Deaths by nationality
According to one Jordanian official, Maj. Bashir al-Da'aja, early in the investigation, local authorities confirmed a series of coordinated suicide attacks
as the cause of the blasts. Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Marwan al-Muasher
initially announced that at least 67 people had died and 300 people had been injured. However, the Jordanian government subsequently revised the number of casualties down to at least 59 dead and 115 injured.
Among the dead were thirty-six Jordanians, mostly from a Muslim wedding, including the fathers of both the bride and groom. The rest were six Iraqis
, five Palestinians
, four Americans
, two Arab-Israelis
, three Chinese
delegates of the People's Liberation Army
(PLA), one Saudi
, and one Indonesian
citizen. Famous filmmaker Moustapha Akkad
died with his daughter. The Palestinian fatalities included Major-General Bashir Nafeh, the head of military intelligence
in the West Bank
, Colonel Abed Allun, a high-ranking Preventive Security forces official, Jihad Fatouh, the commercial attache
at the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo
, and Mosab Khorma, a senior Palestinian-American banker and former Paltel
CEO. Both of the Israeli fatalities were Arabs
. One was Husam Fathi Mahajna, a businessman from Umm al-Fahm
, the other was an unidentified resident of East Jerusalem
Jordanian police initially stated that there were at least four attackers (the fourth, a female, was later captured), including a couple, who spoke Iraqi-accented Arabic
. A number of Iraqis were among the more than 100 suspects who were arrested in the following days. Police claimed to have found maps that were used in planning the attack.
On November 12, Jordan's Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher
confirmed that the attackers were Iraqi and that there were only three suicide bombers.
An internet statement released the day after claimed that the bombers were: Abu Khabib, Abu Muaz, Abu Omaira and Om Omaira, all Iraqis
Al-Qaeda in Iraq immediately claimed the attack on a website, saying they were trying to hit "American and Israeli intelligence and other Western European governments".
The Radisson hotel was previously an Islamist target during the 2000 millennium attack plots
Jordanian police foiled the original attempt after arresting Khadr Abu Hoshar
, a Palestinianmilitant
, along with 15 others on December 12, 1999. It is believed that some of the hotels are frequented by American, Israeli, and European military contractors, journalists, business people, and diplomats, and the city itself has long been described as a "gateway" for Westerners
at large, leading many to entertain the possibility of a connection between the Amman bombings and the War in Iraq
Abdullah II cut short a state visit to Kazakhstan
and returned to Jordan, where he pledged that "justice will pursue the criminals" and condemned the attacks. King Abdullah also cancelled an upcoming visit to Israel
Jordanians reacted to the bombings with outrage. Thousands of people in Amman participated in protests against the bombings, chanting "burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi".
King Abdullah and Queen Rania
visited several victims of the bombings in hospital. The King said "The pain you felt for the loss of your beloved ones, who were killed for no crime they committed, was shared by all Jordanians, regardless of their origins or religions." A relative of one of the victims presented a copy of the Qur'an
to Abdullah during his visit to the hospital.
The family of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Khalayleh tribe, took out half-page advertisements in Jordan's three main newspapers, to denounce him and his actions. 57 members of the al-Khalayleh family, including al-Zarqawi's brother and cousin, also reiterated their strong allegiance to the king. The ads said,
"As we pledge to maintain homage to King Abdullah and to our precious Jordan ... we denounce in the clearest terms all the terrorist actions claimed by the so-called Ahmed Fadheel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, who calls himself Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi ... We announce, and all the people are our witnesses, that we - the sons of the al-Khalayleh tribe - are innocent of him and all that emanates from him, whether action, assertion or decision. ... We sever links with him until doomsday." 
- Secretary-General Kofi Annan
had planned to visit Jordan on November 10, 2005, but postponed the trip in light of the bombings. Kofi Annan issued a statement "strongly condemning" the attacks, and underscoring the need for additional security measures against terrorist attacks worldwide.
- A spokesman for the White House
called the bombings "a heinous act of terror." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
called the bombings a "great tragedy" that show "the very difficult war that we're fighting." President George W. Bush
said "The bombing should remind all of us that there's an enemy in the world that is willing to kill innocent people, willing to bomb a wedding celebration in order to advance their cause." The New York City Police Department had Brandon del Pozo
a newly-stationed overseas intelligence officer, working in Amman. He investigated the incident on behalf of New York City, rather than the US federal government, to ascertain what vulnerabilities it might reveal in the way the city protected its hotels from similar threats.
New anti-terror measures
After the incident, Jordanian
government pledged to take new anti-terror measures to ensure that this would not happen again.
No major successful terrorist attacks have since been reported in the country.
- ^ a b c d "Jordan 'not afraid' after bombs". BBC News. 10 November 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- ^ Deadly Bombings Hit Jordan Archived 2006-11-16 at the Wayback Machine - TheStreet.com, November 9, 2005
- ^ Jordan bombings kill 57, wound 300Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine - Aljazeera, November 9, 2005
- ^ a b Ellis, John (2007). Police Analysis and Planning for Homicide Bombings: Prevention, Defense, and Response. Charles C Thomas Publisher. p. 171. ISBN 9780398085186.
- ^ http://www.timesofisrael.com/jordan-battling-to-rescue-its-key-earner-tourism/
- ^ 'Bomber confession' shocks Jordan - CNN, November 14, 2005
- ^ Amman bombings kill 'Halloween' producer - CNN, November 12, 2005
- ^ Bombed Jordan hotels still estimating damages - Michael Bradford, Business Insurance, November 11, 2005
- ^ Second Israeli Fatality in Amman Terror Attacks[permanent dead link] - Arutz Sheva (Israel National News), November 10, 2005
- ^ Dozens held over Jordan bombings - BBC, November 11, 2005
- ^ "CNN.com - Jordan confirms al Qaeda behind hotel blasts - Nov 12,2005". Archived from the original on 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2014-04-19.
- ^ Bomber's wife arrested in Jordan - BBC, November 13, 2005
- ^ Jackie Spinner (2005-11-15). "Motive Glimpsed in Jordan Attack". The Washington Post. pp. A18. Retrieved 2007-11-01. Jordanian officials have identified the two other bombers as Rawad Jassem Mohammed Abed and Safaa Mohammed Ali, both 23.
- ^ "Jordan executes female would-be suicide bomber wanted for release by Isis". theguardian.com. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- ^ "Amman Radisson Targeted in Foiled Millennium Attack". ABC News. American Broadcasting Company. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- ^ King, Queen meet with families of terror victims - King Abdullah II Official Website, November 15, 2005
- ^  - Jerusalem Post, November 20, 2005
- ^ Pozo, Brandon del. "Brandon del Pozo". Brandon del Pozo. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
- ^ Jordan battling to rescue its key earner — tourism
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