Jordanian news reports announced that two Americans and a South African contractor were killed by a former Jordanian police officer on Monday. Four Jordanians and two other Americans were injured in the shooting at the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center near, Amman. Jordan’s Prime Minister’s office confirmed that security forces killed the shooter. Jordanian government spokesman
Mohammed Momani told the Associated Press that an investigation had been launched into whether the motive for Monday’s shooting attack at the JIPTC was personal or political. The assailant was a senior trainer with the rank of captain, a Jordanian security source was quoted as saying by Reuters. The incident comes on the 10th anniversary of bombing attacks by al-Qaeda in Iraq on three hotels in Amman which killed more than 50 people.
A U.S. defense official said the shooting did not affect U.S. military personnel based in Jordan. The U.S. military has a presence inside Jordan, including a detachment of fighter aircraft to strike at ISIS, as well as a unit to assist Jordan with humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees. The United States helped establish the Joint International Police Training Center in 2004 primarily as a facility to train Iraqi police. It is located in Muwaqqar, 20 miles east of Amman.
It is believed that as many as 50,000 Iraqi policemen underwent training at the facility from 2003 to 2007. It was also used to train several thousand Palestinian security forces as part of a security arrangement negotiated by the United States. In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Jordan confirmed that “two U.S. citizen trainers were killed and two wounded in a shooting incident today” at the training facility.
We understand that a Jordanian employee and South African trainer were also killed and that additional Jordanian and Lebanese individuals were wounded. The investigation is on-going and it is premature to speculate on motive at this point. We are working closely with the Government of Jordan and local security services on a full and comprehensive investigation.”
Jordan — a key U.S. ally — is participating in the American-led coalition fighting to defeat ISIS. The kingdom has deployed troops, launched airstrikes on ISIS targets and also hosts F-16 fighter jets in the area to strike the terror group. US President Barack Obama said a “full investigation” would be set up and the US was “working closely with Jordanians.”
Pentagon Spokesman Major James Brindle told Al Jazeera that the Pentagon was trying to verify information, adding that he could not yet confirm the identity of the two dead Americans. A U.S. official said the two Americans were working for the U.S. State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau training Palestinian security forces.