Fears Jordan's new intelligence director will obstruct political reform
Jordan, Politics, 12/21/2005
The Jordanian King Abdullah II appointed a new director for the intelligence departments in the framework of security changes taking place in the Kingdom following the occurrence of three suicide attacks in November that resulted in the death of more than 60 persons.
According to the royal decree, Lt. Gen. al-Zahabi was appointed a director general for the intelligence department in succession to Lt. Gen. Samih Asfoura who occupied this post for more than 7 months.
This recent appointment came following a series of measures taken by the Jordanian king in November when he removed nine of his consultants and appointed a new director for the royal court and a new director for national security.
A Jordanian security source said that this change came in light of "major security challenges reflected in al-Qaida and its leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi." Officials say that the reshuffle in higher posts is considered an evidence that King Abdullah wants to give more influence to the intelligence establishment.
On the other hand, the Jordanian opposition have fears that the intelligence will obstruct the introduction of political reforms in the country, especially as the security department was recently accused of inspecting and monitoring politicians and harassing opposition leaders and monitoring their telephone calls.
Worthy mentioning that Zarqawi, who was born in Jordan, claimed responsibility for the three explosions which damaged hotels in Amman on November 9 and he threatened to carry out more such attacks.
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