900 Jordanian militants fighting in Syria and Iraq: senior official

Around 900 Jordanians are currently fighting for Islamic State and al-Qaeda inspired groups in Syria and Iraq but recruitment numbers have fallen sharply to their lowest ever levels, a senior Jordanian official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Those now fighting in Iraq and Syria had mostly left Jordan, a staunch U.S. ally which borders the two countries, in the early years of the conflict between 2013 and 2014 according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Numbers joining the ultra-hardline jihadist groups had dropped in the last three years as an intelligence-led campaign helped Jordanian security forces nip plots in the bud and arrested radicalized youths who were planning to leave, he said.

Jordan is a member of the United States-led international military coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In December, Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack at Jordan’s city of al-Karak which left ten dead, including seven security members.

Early April, Islamic State released a video threatening Jordan and urging its supporters to carry out attacks there similar to the Karak attack.

Entitled “Be Prepared for Worse”, the militants released a 20-minute video featuring bloody images of brutal execution of five persons, who the group claimed to be Syrian personnel who received a military training in Jordan.

In the video, IS fighters attacked the Jordanian tribes that are accused of disowning their sons who joined the group and battled in Syria.

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