"The president condemns in the strongest possible terms the vicious terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in Amman, Jordan," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said in a statement issued just over three hours after the bombings.
Suicide bombers attacked three hotels frequented by Westerners in the Jordanian capital Wednesday night in nearly simultaneous explosions. Immediate suspicion fell on al-Qaida, which has launched coordinated attacks on high-profile, Western targets in the past.
The bombs exploded about 45 minutes before Bush held a ceremony to honor 14 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was briefed on the attacks shortly after the ceremony ended by Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff, and J.D. Crouch, his deputy national security adviser, McClellan said.
Bush issued condolences to the people of Jordan and King Abdullah, one of his strongest allies in the Middle East, through his spokesman's statement.
"We hope for the recovery of those wounded in these attacks, and offer our prayers for the victims and their families," McClellan said. "Jordan is a close friend of the United States, and we will offer every possible form of cooperation in investigating these attacks and assisting in efforts to bring these terrorists to justice."
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