Syrian militants linked to Al-Qaida's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, were behind last week's rocket attack on U.S. warships in the Red Sea port of Aqaba, Jordan's Interior Minister said on Tuesday. There are two suspects identified.
Zarqawi's Sunni Muslim group claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, in which the rockets missed their targets but hit a warehouse and a hospital, killing a Jordanian soldier, and struck the Israeli port of Eilat.
An Internet statement said those who had carried out the strikes had "withdrawn ... and returned safely to their base".
The statement said the plotters were part of an Iraq-based terrorist group, which was not named, Washington Post reports.
"We know for certain it is Al-Qaida and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who were behind the attack. Our interrogations revealed this. Their goal is to destabilise Jordan and spread terror even if they camouflage this with alleged political goals," Interior Minister Awni Yarfas told Reuters.
Jordanian officials identified the suspects as an Iraqi named Mohammed Hameed Hassan, also known as Abu Mukhtar, and a Syrian named Mohammed Hassan Abdullah al-Sahli and his two sons.
The officials, who asked not to be named, said Sahli had been part of an Al-Qaida sleeper cell in Amman. He was arrested shortly after his sons, Abdullah and Abdul-Rahman, fled across the border to Iraq with Hassan on Friday, according to reuters.
They said the Syrians had used forged Iraqi passports to enter Jordan, a tightly policed pro-Western kingdom where militant attacks are rare.
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