At least 57 people were killed and over 96 injured in a series of apparently coordinated suicide bombs at three hotels in Amman, Jordan.An Al Qaeda-affiliated organization has claimed responsibility for the blasts.
The attacks began at approximately local time on November 9, when an explosion ripped through the lobby of the Grand Hyatt. A few minutes later, suicide bombers struck the nearby Radisson and Days Inn hotels. All three hotels are affiliated with U.S.-based hospitality chains and are popular with foreign tourists, including Americans and Israelis. Most of the victims, though, were Jordanian, including many who had been attending a wedding party at the Radisson.Other victims included an American, a Saudi, and an Israeli, as well as Palestinians, Iraqis and Chinese. The Palestinian head of military intelligence in the West Bank was killed in the Hyatt bombing.
The terrorist group Al Qaeda in Iraq, headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted to an Islamic Web site. In its claim, Al Qaeda in Iraq stated that it had attacked Jordan because it is a "backyard garden for…Jews and crusaders" and a "filthy place for the traitors."Foreigners often use Jordan as a crossing point into Iraq, where Al Qaeda in Iraq has targeted them in its bloody war against the reconstruction effort. Amman also hosts the headquarters for many companies that operate in Iraq.
The attack comes after repeated attempts by Zarqawi to conduct attacks inside Jordan, which is seen as a close ally of both Israel and the U.S.In July, 2005, Al Qaeda in Iraq launched an unsuccessful rocket attack on U.S. warships anchored in the Jordanian port of Aqaba.Zarqawi has also stated his intention to expand the scope of his attacks outside of Iraq.
Following the bombings, hundreds of Jordanians took to the streets to decry the attacks and Al Qaeda in Iraq.The protest was organized by both left-wing organizations and the Islamist parties, who are generally critical of the pro-Western policies of the Jordanian monarchy.