Jordan. Authorities during the year conducted an intense hunt for people suspected of having links to the Islamist terror network al-Qaeda and to Jordanian rebel leader Abu Musab az-Zarqawi, who were accused of being behind much of the violence in Iraq.
In March, security forces attacked a group of militant Islamists who were allegedly planning to use chemical weapons to attack government buildings and the US embassy in Amman. Six people were arrested and four were killed when they refused to surrender to the security forces. Later in the year, a few more people were arrested on suspicion of having participated in the conspiracy.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in Jordan is 10,203,145 people in 2020. Eight people were sentenced April 6 to death for involvement in the murder of an American diplomat in Amman in 2002. Six of them, among them az-Zarqawi, were sentenced in their absence. A further twelve people were later sentenced to a prison sentence of between 3 and 15 years later for planning or carrying out terror attacks. Several of these were also convicted in their absence, among them Iraqi Kurdish resident Mulla Krekar, who received 15 years in prison.
In November, King Abdullah withdrew his half-brother Hamza’s crown prince title. The reason was, the king said, that he wanted to give the half-brother “greater freedom of movement”.
In January, Iraq’s Governing Council terminated the agreement under which Iraq had provided J. for 13 years with all of its oil imports, half as a gift from Saddam Hussein’s regime and half at a discounted price. The deal was reported to be worth over $ 200 million a year.
The Brotherhood party participates in elections
The Muslim Brotherhood’s political branch The Islamic Action Front announces that the party intends to run in the parliamentary elections on November 10, despite a court ruling that the parent organization must be dissolved (see July 15). The party has 16 seats in today’s parliament.
Conscription is reintroduced
Compulsory military service is reintroduced for unemployed men between the ages of 25 and 29. The Ministries of Defense and the Labor Market shall be jointly responsible for twelve months of training. A quarter of the time is spent in the military and three quarters are focused on vocational training. One reason is that unemployment has risen in connection with the corona pandemic. Jordan abolished compulsory military service in 1991, three years before a peace treaty was concluded with Israel.
Palestinian-Jordanian cartoonist Emad Hajjaj is arrested on suspicion of undermining Jordan’s ties with a friendly nation, the United Arab Emirates. He has irritated the Jordanian state through a drawing that expresses criticism of agreements between the emirate and Israel. The United Arab Emirates has recognized Israel, which most Arab countries have chosen not to do as long as there is no final peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. The case is transferred to a security court and the crime he is accused of can be punished with up to five years in prison. After a few days, the cartoonist is released again, but then it is said that he is suspected of libel, which can result in up to two years in prison.
The leadership of the teachers’ union is released
The 13 people on the teachers’ union’s board who were arrested in July are set free by a judge, as are a number of teachers arrested during demonstrations. It is unclear whether they continue to be threatened by legal action, but the organization remains closed (see July 24).