AP - Jordan executes two militants for slaying of US diplomat
Jordan executes two militants for slaying of US diplomat
Sunday, March 12, 2006
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Jordan executed two al-Qaeda-linked militants on Saturday for the 2002 slaying of an American diplomat in Amman, underscoring Jordan's growing impatience with terrorists.
Salem bin Suweid, a Libyan, and Yasser Freihat, a Jordanian, were hanged before dawn at Swaqa Jail, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the Jordanian capital, in the first execution involving militants thought to be linked to al-Qaeda.
Bin Suweid and Freihat were convicted of slaying US aid worker Laurence Foley, who was gunned down outside his Amman home on October 28, 2002.
The murder was blamed on al-Qaeda in Iraq chief Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi.
Jordan - a firm supporter of Washington's global war on terrorism and a victim of several al-Qaeda plots, including the triple hotel blasts in Amman that killed 60 people last November - has sentenced scores of militants to death in recent years.
But executions have so far been carried out against Islamists not linked to al-Qaeda or other known terrorist groups.
Jordanian political analyst Moussa Kilani said the hangings underlined that Jordan's patience was wearing thin with terrorists.
"It shows that Jordan doesn't want its territory to be a playground for terrorists and sets out a deterrent for the future that Jordanian society, as tolerant as it can be, is very strict regarding the rash wanton murder of innocent civilians," Kilani told the Associated Press.
A security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to make press statements, downplayed the significance of the executions.
He said both men were hanged in line with the law, which stipulates carrying out the death penalty on persons who committed crimes that claimed the lives of innocent civilians.
Bin Suweid and Freihat were part of an 11-member cell allegedly headed by al-Zarqawi. The two appealed their convictions but the appeals court upheld their death sentences last November.