Jordan Reshuffles Security Cabinet over ISIL’s Rising Threat
Jordan’s King Abdullah II changed his security aides, including Interior Minister Hussein al-Majali, police chief Tawfik al-Tawabia and head of the gendarmerie Ahmed al-Swelmin over the rising activities of the ISIL terrorist organization in the Arab country’s Maan province.
The changes in Jordan’s top security posts came following rising unrests in Maan province and the seizure of a vehicle belonging to the Arab country’s intelligence ministry by the militants.
Last week security forces moved in to quell unrest in Maan, where residents accused them of an “excessive use of force” in a bid to arrest two wanted men.
On Sunday, Majali resigned following criticism of a heavy-handed police crackdown in Maan, the scene of frequent unrest.
Police chief Tawfik al-Tawabla and the head of the gendarmerie, Ahmed al-Swelmin, were also sent into early retirement.
Majali, a former police chief who had headed the ministry since 2013, tendered his resignation to King Abdullah II who accepted it, a statement from Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur said.
It said Majali quit over a “failure by security agencies in coordinating them on issues concerning the security of citizens… and the failure in addressing these issues to the required level”.
Last June, police fired tear gas to disperse angry protesters in Maan after police killed a suspect in a shootout in the southern city.
And in April 2014, a 20-year-old man was killed outside his home in clashes with security forces after gunmen opened fire on police guarding a courthouse.
Last month, Russian media quoted experts as saying that the Salafi movement is making considerable headway in Jordan, whose adherents are increasingly crossing the border with Syria to carry out jihad.
Rising numbers of Jordanian youth are joining Salafi movement are increasingly inclined to show support for the ISIL in Syria, with Jordanian authorities, like their European counterparts, worried about the threat posed by the Salafi fighters on their eventual return to Jordan, Sputnik reported.
At least 400 would-be Salafi fighters have been arrested by Jordanian authorities for trying to join radical organizations in Syria. Attempts by the Jordanian intelligence services to infiltrate radical groups have met with mixed success due to the ISIL’s effective intelligence service, managed by Abu Ali al-Anbari, a former Iraqi Army Major General under Saddam Hussein.