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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 00:17 GMT
Amman blasts bear al-Qaeda hallmark
By Rob Watson
BBC defence and security correspondent

Hyatt Hotel, Amman
Tourist hotels provide an obvious target for bombers
The attacks on three hotels in Jordan's capital Amman look like the work of al-Qaeda or those inspired by its philosophy of global Jihad.

Certainly the methodology is very familiar.

Powerful explosions targeted hotels likely to be used by westerners - the intention being to kill as many people as possible and to harm tourism and business.

That Jordan would be a target is no surprise.

Islamic extremists despise its secular king, its status as the United States' closest Arab ally and its peace treaty with neighbouring Israel.

This is not the first time Jordan has been the scene of attacks carried out by suspected Islamic extremists.

In August, three rockets were fired at US navy ships in the Jordanian port of Aqaba.

Until now though, Jordan's security services appear to have had the upper hand against the extremists.

They claimed to have foiled attacks by al-Qaeda to use chemical weapons in 2004, and to have stopped attacks on Israeli and US tourists during the Millennium celebrations in 2000.

But these latest explosions would appear to show the continuing determination of Jordan's enemies and the impossibility of preventing every attack.



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