The attack in alMowaqar, and the limits of the story

تم نشره في Tue 10 November / Nov 2015. 11:39 AM

By Fahed Khitan

The story is unfinished yet, and the available information by printing time is not sufficient to aver final characterization of the incident. Only headlines so far: A captain in the GSS shoots foreign coaches at a alMowaqar training center, killing three (two American, and one South African), and injuring another three right before being killed himself.

Nothing in the history of the perpetrator raises doubts about his mental condition. Usually, people working in the security services are subject to, and in joint training centers, comprehensive security checks. Preliminary investigations did not show any political or ideological reasons for the incident.

Remarkably, the attack coincided with the anniversary of the terrorist bombings in Amman: Did the attacker intend the timing, or was it just a coincidence?

And more importantly, the question remains: Is it the work of an individual or was it politically motivated, or is it an orchestrated process supported by a terrorist organization?

The training center at alMowaqar was the target of more than one attempt, all were thwarted, and the latest of which being a cell that planned to target a bus transporting workers at the center.

Cases of shootings at training centers were recorded previously, mostly for personal motives or as a result of inadvertent technical errors.

The attack in alMowaqar yesterday is completely different. It is, according to the available data, an intentional act. The big question remains about the motives.

The attack in Jordan's case may seem like an exceptional and unprecedented attack, but it would not have been in other Arab countries. In America, in the last two years, several attacks on military bases, and the centers of the army, and collection points for trainees took place. Some of them at the hands of elements within the military services, and other by people emotionally associated with terrorist groups thousands of miles away from the United States of America. Dozens were killed and wounded during those attacks.

This attack deserves a thorough investigation to arrive at the details and identify gaps in the procedures. But we should not panic or feel guilty. What happened is not a fundamental breakthrough in the Jordanian security system, nor a deficit in itself. Such individual acts are unexpected and happen at every place and time. One feels sorry for the victims, but such acts happen in spite of all the security measures in place. This is what has happened in alMowaqar, and these are the limitations to this story.



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition