Jordan thwarts Iran-led plan to carry out acts of sabotage in kingdom — sources

Jordan has foiled a suspected Iranian-led plot to smuggle weapons into the kingdom to help opponents of the ruling US-aligned monarchy carry out acts of sabotage, according to two Jordanian sources with knowledge of the matter.

The weapons were sent by Iranian-backed militias in Syria to a cell of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan that has links to the military wing of Palestinian terror group Hamas, the sources tells Reuters. The cache was seized when members of the cell, Jordanians of Palestinian descent, were arrested in late March, they say.

The alleged plot and arrests come at a time of sky-high tensions in the Middle East, with an American-backed Israel at war in Gaza with Hamas, part of Iran’s “Axis of Resistance” network of proxy groups built up over decades to oppose Israel.

The two Jordanian sources, who have requested anonymity to discuss security matters, decline to say what acts of sabotage were allegedly planned, citing ongoing investigations and covert operations.

They say the plot’s aim was to destabilize Jordan, a country that could become a regional flashpoint in the Gaza crisis as it hosts a US military base and shares borders with Israel as well as Syria and Iraq, both home to Iranian-backed militias.

The sources don’t specify what weapons were seized in the March raid, though they say in recent months security services have thwarted numerous attempts by Iran and its allied groups to smuggle in arms including Claymore mines, C4 and Semtex explosives, Kalashnikov rifles and 107mm Katyusha rockets.

Most of the clandestine flow of arms into the country has been bound for the neighboring West Bank, according to the Jordanian sources. However, some of the weapons — including those seized in March — were intended for use in Jordan by the Brotherhood cell allied to Hamas militants, they say.

Jordanian authorities believe Iran and its allied groups like Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah are trying to recruit young, radical members of the kingdom’s Brotherhood to their anti-Israel, anti-US cause in a bid to expand Tehran’s regional network of aligned forces, according to the two sources.

A senior representative of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood confirms that some of its members were arrested in March in possession of weapons but says whatever they did was not approved by the group and that he suspected they were smuggling arms to the West Bank rather than planning acts in Jordan.

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