AMMAN // A 50-year-old man who threatened to blow himself up at the headquarters of a Jordanian Islamic opposition group yesterday was wearing a fake explosive belt, a police spokesman said.
The Islamic Action Front (IAF), an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, was forced to evacuate its offices in the Abdali district of Amman when the man’s plot was discovered.
“He was wearing a belt made of wood and had it wired and connected to a battery. The man was acting crazy,” said Colonel Mohammad Khatib of the Amman police. “We have detained him for questioning.”
Nimmer Assaf, the deputy head of the IAF, said the man was heard screaming threats during noon prayers.
“One man outside saw him wearing an explosive belt. Then the police came and evacuated the place,” Mr Assaf said.
Police arrived with a bomb squad and negotiated with the man for 30 minutes before he was detained, according to a police statement.
“After examining the belt, it turned out it was wooden and painted and connected to dry and dysfunctional batteries. He did not have any explosive materials on him,” said the police report.
The bomb threat came during a tense time between the Islamic opposition and the government. The prime minister, Marouf Bakhit, last week accused Brotherhood members of taking orders from Syria and Egypt after a youth-led protest led to one death and more than 130 people being injured.
Government supporters have accused the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots of attempting to sow discord in Jordan and undermine its ruling monarchy.
Last month, the IAF head Hamza Mansuor received death threats after taking part in pro-reform protests. King Abdullah II has since ordered protection for his house in eastern Amman.
“The threats only encourage us to press ahead with our demands,” Mr Assaf said.
“At the time, we didn’t know if the man was wearing a fake or a real explosive belt. But if anyone thinks that we will stop asking for our rights, he is mistaken.”
Source : The National
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