US warns citizens of terror threats in Jordan malls

Americans urged to avoid high-end shopping centers, restaurants, especially in Amman

A view of Amman, with the Jordanian flag flying high over the city (photo credit: Michal Shmulovich/Times of Israel)
A view of Amman, with the Jordanian flag flying high over the city (photo credit: Michal Shmulovich/Times of Israel)

The US Department of State issued a warning to American citizens Wednesday of a “credible” terror threat in high-end shopping malls in Jordan and especially in the capital, Amman.

A statement released by the US Embassy in Amman urged citizens to remain vigilant and cooperate with local law enforcement authorities.

“Extremist groups have repeatedly expressed interest in attacking so-called soft targets, such as malls and restaurants, in Jordan. US. citizens should expect to see an increased security presence at such establishments throughout Jordan, and especially in Amman,” read the statement.

“The threat is judged to be credible, although the possible timeframe and type of threat are unknown,” it went on.

Employees of the US Embassy in Amman were instructed to avoid these locations, and private citizens were urged to do the same.

The warning came two months after an American woman was stabbed to death in the bathroom of a shopping mall in the United Arab Emirates. The suspect was an Emirati woman who had also attempted to plant a makeshift bomb in front of the home of an American doctor in Abu Dhabi.

The fatal stabbing took place in December, on the same day as a recording was released attributed to Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, the spokesman of the extremist Islamic State group, that urged Muslims to attack Westerners by any means, even if only to “spit on their faces.”

The UAE in September joined the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria.

AFP contributed to this report.

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