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Jordan, Iraq agree to share terror intelligence

Iraq and Jordan have agreed to share more intelligence to fight al-Qaida and other militant groups waging terror attacks across the region, Iraq’s national security adviser said on Wednesday.
/ Source: Reuters

Iraq and Jordan have agreed to share more intelligence to fight al-Qaida and other militant groups waging terror attacks across the region, Iraq’s national security adviser said on Wednesday.

“We agreed to develop intelligence sharing to a qualitatively new level as the enemy is one and the main goal is fighting al-Qaida and the defeat of terrorists,” Mowaffak al-Rubaie said.

He spoke after suicide bomb attacks overnight killed 200 people in northwest Iraq. The U.S. military said on Wednesday al-Qaida was the “prime suspect.”

Islamist militants are sworn enemies of both the Iraqi government and Jordan, a U.S. ally that gives crucial support to Washington’s operations in Iraq. In November 2005, triple al-Qaida suicide bombings killed 60 people at hotels in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

“We agreed that the threats affecting Iraqi national security are the same that face Jordan. Our common enemy are al-Qaida and religious extremism that prevails in some parts of our region,” Rubaie said at the end of two-day talks in Jordan.

'An intelligence-led war'
Western and Arab security officials say the rise in militancy is tied to growing anti-American sentiment since the invasion of Iraq.

“This is an intelligence-led war against al-Qaida... Iraq is in the forefront of this global terror...so this is not a war of Iraq versus al-Qaida. Security in Iraq is crucial for stability in the region,” Rubaie said.

Iraq also listened to Jordanian fears that Iraq’s security forces could be infiltrated by Shiite militias supported by Iranian intelligence, Rubaie said.

“We listened to these complaints. We are realistic and know that the Iraqi security forces have seen some penetrations and excesses,” Rubaie said.

Jordanian security sources say Shiite-led militias with ties to Iran prevail in the Iraqi police and many are behind sectarian death squads blamed for sectarian violence.

Jordanian officials were briefed about the purge of 13,000 interior ministry employees accused of a role in sectarian killings and the probe of 9,000 other personnel, Rubaie added.

Jordan and other Sunni Arab countries are concerned about increasing Iranian influence in Iraq, whose government is led by Shiite groups close to Iran. They also fear sectarian violence in Iraq could spread across their borders and engulf the region.