Video: Jordan's relationship with U.S. makes it a target

msnbc.com
updated 11/10/2005 4:24:35 PM ET 2005-11-10T21:24:35

After Wednesday's terror attack in Amman, Jordan killed at least 56 people, many are looking for answers about what is believed to be Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's first strike outside of Iraq means for the future of terror in the region.

Evan Kohlmann, an MSNBC Analyst and founder of the website globalterroralert.com, told MSNBC's Alison Stewart on Thursday's MSNBC Live that it could be an ominous first step for the terror leader.

"I think we might want to take a look at this attack and take it as a warning sign, because I think Zarqawi will not only continue to try to carry out attacks like this, but he's going to try to use countries like Jordan as a bridge to Israel and the United States," he said.

"Don't be surprised if you see the spread of Zarqawi's cells from Jordan into the Palestinian Territories, into Lebanon, and perhaps even into Syria in the coming weeks," Kohlmann added.

It is Jordan's relationship with the United States and Israel that made it a target for Zarqawi, a Jordanian himself, Kohlmann told Stewart, noting that King Abdullah's pro-U.S. policies and help in hunting down al-Qaida operatives have added fuel to the fire.

"Clearly, there is anger, and it is directed at Jordan itself," he said.

While Kohlmann said it's clear that the U.S. does and likely will continue to have the support of the Jordanian government, the Jordanian people are not completely united behind their King.

"Something that's a bit disturbing, and a lot of Americans don't realize this, but when Jordanian al-Qaida operatives are killed in suicide car bombings in Iraq, their families back in Amman and elsewhere in Jordan hold public celebrations, where they invite the entire neighborhood to celebrate. ...Unfortunately, there are a number of Jordanians that do believe Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a hero, that he's an idol, and that those who are dying for him are "martyrs," he said.

"It's a phenomenon that the Jordanian government is going to have to confront more fully. Otherwise, it's putting itself at risk," Kohlmann noted.

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