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ISIS Meets Its Match?
How Jordan Has Prevented Large-Scale Attacks
By
Aaron Magid

February 17, 2016
Jordanian honor guards perform during a ceremony to honor war veterans and retired servicemen during Veterans Day, as part of celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Great Arab Revolt, at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, February 15, 2016.
Muhammad Hamed / Reuters
t first glance, AJordan would appear to be a prime target for the self-proclaimed Islamic State (also known as ISIS). For one, ISIS has struck almost all of Jordan’s neighbors. In May 2015, there was the bloody attack in a Saudi Arabian mosque; in November, a Russian plane in Egypt came under attack. ISIS hit an Iraqi shopping mall in January 2016, and it has targeted Syrian regime troops for two years now. Since 2014, ISIS has killed 18,000 Iraqi civilians. In 2015 alone, it killed approximately 2,000 Syrians.
Further, the Hashemite Kingdom’s economy faces serious challenges, with youth unemployment at 28.8 percent, according to the International Labor Organization’s most recent statistics. The economic situation has surely pushed some of the Jordanians—approximately 2,000—who have left the country to join ISIS, according to government officials. (A Lebanese study recently cited by U.S. Assistant Defense Secretary Michael Lumpkin has noted that financial considerations are a significant factor, but certainly not the only one, pushing civilians to enlist in ISIS.)
In other words, the country seems primed for trouble. But ISIS has not carried out a single large-scale attack inside the kingdom. Deaths inside the country from ISIS-linked incidents stand at five at most, even
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AARON MAGID is an Amman-based journalist. His articles have appeared in Al-Monitor, the New Republic, and Lebanon’s Daily Star.
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