Jordanian Senior Officer Shoots Six at U.S.-Funded Center

Relatives of Anwar Abu Zeid speak to the media at the family diwan in Remoun village. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

A Jordanian man fatally shot two U.S. government security contractors, a South African trainer and two Jordanian nationals at a U.S.-funded police training facility near Amman on Monday, before being killed in a shootout by Jordanian security forces.

A U.S. official said the two deceased Americans were working for the U.S. State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau training Palestinian security forces.

The attacker was identified as Captain Anwar Abu Zaid, a graduate of the military branch of Mutah University, belonging to the village of Remoun in northern Jerash, his relative told Jordan Times. 

U.S. President Barack Obama said they were treating the attack on King Abdullah Training Center very seriously and a full investigation is under way.

While there has been no immediate word on the motive behind the incident, a senior Jordanian official who requested anonymity said that “the incident sadly does not come as a surprise, as the threat of Islamist terrorism has only increased in the region.”

Jordan is a staunch ally of the U.S. campaign against Daesh militants, who control large parts of Syria and Iraq – a position that Jordanian officials say leaves the kingdom vulenrable to jihadist attacks.


Suleiman Al Saad, the uncle of Anwar Abu Zeid. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Suleiman Al Saad, the uncle of the shooter Anwar Abu Zeid, has described his nephew as a good Muslim. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

The relative also said that the news shocked residents of the village, who knew Captain Zaid as a kind person. His uncle, Sulaiman Abu Zeid, said his nephew was a pious Muslim who did not harbour radical Islamist beliefs, adding that the family would not take the body “until the truth was uncovered.”

Captain Zaid is survived by his wife and two kids.


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