AMMAN Ñ Jordan has intensified its crackdown on suspected Iraqi
agents amid fear of massive unrest sparked by a U.S.-led war against
Western diplomatic sources said Iraq has thousands of agents around the
Hashemite kingdom. The sources said many of the agents are operated by the
Iraqi embassy in Amman, which is one of the largest in Jordan.
Authorities have arrested scores of Jordanian nationals and foreigners
believed to be working for the regime of President Saddam Hussein. Those
arrested include Islamic activists, union leaders and Iraqi nationals, Middle East Newsline reported.
Last week, authorities arrested a leading pro-Iraqi activist, identified
as Fawaz Zurikat. Zurikat is a member of a committee that has planned
rallies in support of the Saddam regime.
Hakem Fayez, a colleague of Zurikat, said the detained man was an active
member of the committee. He said security agents arrested Zurikat at his
office and seized documents and computer files.
Fayez said the arrest was linked to the volatile atmosphere amid the
expected U.S. war against Baghad.
The committee had been trying to organize a huge pro-Saddam rally in
But the rally, scheduled for March 7, was cancelled by Jordanian
On Saturday, Jordan's largest opposition group called for the expulsion
of U.S. troops from the kingdom. The Islamic Action Front called on
Jordanians to boycott U.S. troops and refuse to service them. Later, an IAF
leader met with King Abdullah.
At the same time, Jordan stressed that it would not host the Iraqi
opposition in the Hashemite kingdom. Officials said the Iraqi opposition has
not begun operations in the country.
"Those news are false, and the aim of the rumor is to unsettle the
atmosphere in the region," Jordanian Information Minister Mohammed Adwan