April 11, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 3754

Salafi-Jihadist Movement in Jordan Threatens Demonstration in Amman, Warns of 'Storm of Jihad'

April 11, 2011
Jordan | Special Dispatch No. 3754

For the past month, the Salafi-jihadist movement in Jordan has been holding demonstrations in which protesters wave Al-Qaeda flags, denounce the Jordanian regime, and demand the instatement of shari'a law in the country and the release of the movement's prisoners.[1]

Last week, the Jordanian security apparatuses arrested four Salafi-jihadist activists: 'Abd Al-Nasser Khamaysa, Mustafa 'Abd Al-Latif, Muhammad Abu 'Omar, and Furas Al-Na'lawi.[2] In response, the movement threatened that, if they were not released, it would hold a sit-down demonstration this Tuesday (April 12) from ten in the morning until ten at night in Amman's Gamal 'Abd Al-Nasser Square. One of the movement's senior leaders in Jordan, Abu Muhammad Al-Tahawi, said that this was only "the first step in the escalation," and that "all options are open."[3] It should be noted that 'Abd Al-Nasser Square is the most central junction in the capital, and that the authorities generally forbid sit-down demonstration held in the square. Two weeks ago, a demonstration organized by the March 24 Youth led to clashes with security forces, ending with one person dead and 100 wounded.

The following is an overview:

Salafi-Jihadist Leader to Jordanian Intelligence: Learn a Lesson from What Happened to the Egyptian National Intelligence Apparatus

Last Friday (April 8, 2011), the Salafi-jihadists held a demonstration in front of the great mosque in Irbid, [4] at which they waved Al-Qaeda flags and called to implement shari'a law, liberate the places holy to Islam, and release the movement's prisoners. Protesters chanted slogans like "Victory or Death," "Rejoice, [Abu Muhammad] Al-Maqdisi, We Are Continuing the Struggle," "Neither East nor West – Just Islamic Unity," and "Neither Samir nor Ma'rouf".[5] A poster circulated in advance of the demonstration detailed the movement's demands, including the call to establish an Islamic Caliphate and to implement the shari'a. The poster also referred to several websites affiliated with the Salafi-jihadist movement and with Al-Qaeda, including the site of Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad, and the jihadist forums Ansar Al-Mujahideen and Shumoukh Al-Islam.

Poster published by the Salafi-jihadist movement in advance of the April 8 demonstration., April 8, 2011

In his speech at the demonstration, senior Salafi-jihadist leader Abu Muhammad Al-Tahawi reiterated the call to free the movement's four detainees, who were arrested, he said, "for their activity of da'wa and of commanding what is good and forbidding what is evil." He added: "I direct a clear message to the intelligence apparatuses: beware of clinging to old illusions and to the past, for the past is gone for good... Learn a lesson from what happened to the Egyptian National Intelligence apparatus: Some [of its members] fled, some are incarcerated in Abu Za'abal prison, and some are still hiding like rats..." Al-Tahawi threatened that "any action will be met with a comparable reaction..."

Sheikh Jarrah Al-Rahahla denounced nationalism, saying: "I am Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi, Hijazi, Afghan, and Chechen. I am a Muslim, wherever I am. These tribal and national affiliations mean nothing to us, [indicating only] one's family and place of birth. But the real, solid and strong affiliation is the religious [bond] that unites [us all], Persian and Arab, Palestinian and Jordanian, Syrian and [resident of the] Gulf, [based on our] devotion to Allah and His will."[6]

Imam of Irbid Mosque to Jordanian Authorities: Implement the Shari'a, Otherwise the Storm of Jihad Will Reach Jordan

Another speaker at the demonstration was the imam of the Khalil Al-Rahman mosque in Irbid, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Khatib. He said that the masses had taken to the streets "to declare with one voice: We want to restore the Islamic Caliphate," and added: "The righteous Caliphate will soon return, Allah willing." Addressing the Jordanian authorities, he warned: "[Even] if you survive the political storm [rising] out of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, the storm of military jihad is [rising] out of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Yemen. It will undoubtedly pass through Jordan, unless you fix the situation and implement Allah's law."[7]

Salafi-jihadist sources told the daily Al-Sabil that, after the demonstration, the security apparatuses detained Sheikh Muhammad Al-Khatib for several hours, during which he was beaten and tortured.[8]

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Khatib, April 8, 2011

Our War Is against the Jews and Their Agents in Jordan

Another Salafi-jihadist leader in Jordan, Dr. Sa'd Al-Hunaiti, said at the demonstration that "the Salafi movement is being targeted because [its demands] are so lofty... [Our demands] surpass all those of the opposition, because we are demanding to impose shari'a [law]. Implementing the shari'a will bring down all of Allah's enemies who are [conducting] security coordination with the Jews, and all those who are sending the Muslims to fight as mercenaries alongside the Jews and Crusaders in Afghanistan..." He added that "the demand to implement the shari'a is causing the oppressors and infidels everywhere to lose sleep."

Responding to a statement by Israeli Knesset Member Binyamin Ben Eliezer, who expressed concern for the stability of the Jordanian regime, Al-Hunaiti said: "Our war is against the Jews and their collaborators and agents in Jordan... When the [Jordanian] masses began to [protest], they [i.e., Jordanian King 'Abdallah] fired [former prime minister] Samir Al-Rifa'i and brought us Ma'rouf Al-Bakhit in his stead. [The latter] is a military figure who served as an advisor to the Jordanian intelligence and as an ambassador to the Jews, so he is from the camp [of the Jews and their collaborators and agents in Jordan]."[9]

The April 8 demonstration in Irbid., April 8, 2011

Demonstrators wave Al-Qaeda flag at Irbid demonstration., April 8, 2011

[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 3650, "Salafi-Jihadists Demonstrate in Jordan's Capital with Al-Qaeda Banners, Jihadist Slogans," March 8, 2011, Salafi-Jihadists Demonstrate in Jordan's Capital with Al-Qaeda Banners, Jihadist Slogans; Special Dispatch No, 3694, "Al-Qaeda Flag Flies in Salafi-Jihadist Demonstration in Amman, Jordan," March 23, 2011," Al-Qaeda Flag Flies in Salafi-Jihadist Demonstration in Amman, Jordan.

[2], April 7, 2011; Al-Sabil (Jordan), April 9, 2011.

[3], April 7, 2011.

[4] Irbid seems to be a center of the Salafi-jihadi movement in Jordan. In 2008, the movement's top leadership and many members from Al-Zarqawi's circle attended a large wedding in the city. See MEMRI TC Clip.

[5] Samir Al-Rifa'i is Jordan's former prime-minister, and Ma'rouf Al-Bakhit is the present one, recently appointed by Jordan's king in an attempt to calm the unrest in the country.

[6] Al-Sabil (Jordan), April 8, 2011.

[7], April 8, 2011; Al-Sabil (Jordan), April 9, 2011.

[8] Al-Khatib posted a video on YouTube in which he described the tortures, and in which he is visibly bruised. See

[9], April 8, 2011; Al-Sabil (Jordan), April 9, 2011.

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