Capturing the killer of Jordan's intelligence agents

Al Jazeera views first-hand police report detailing arrest of suspect, widely reported to be relative of prominent MP.

    Jordanian soldiers attend the funeral of one of the intelligence officers killed in Monday's attack [Muhammad Hamed/Reuters]
    Jordanian soldiers attend the funeral of one of the intelligence officers killed in Monday's attack [Muhammad Hamed/Reuters]

    New details emerged on Tuesday about the suspect accused in the deadly shooting of Jordanian intelligence agents near the Palestinian refugee camp al-Baqa'a outside Jordan's capital, Amman.

    The suspect - identified by local media as Mahmoud Masharfeh - was arrested after a shooting on Monday night inside a mosque in el-Sleihi town in Ain el-Basha district. That's 5km from the intelligence department offices where he allegedly committed the killings earlier in the day.

    Arrest report

    Masharfeh was captured by a Jordanian police captain, Faisal Fozan al-Odwan, who is from el-Sleihi. Al Jazeera obtained a copy of his hand-written police report, in which he described the events that led to the arrest:

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    "Around 9pm on Monday, I went to the local mosque along with my father, brothers and cousins for evening prayers. I noticed that worshippers were gathered around a man, asking him where he was from.

    As a police officer, I went in and questioned him and he told me that he was from the Ain el-Basha area.

    We proceeded to pray when the imam called for the prayer. After we finished the main prayer, the man proceeded to pray the Sunna when I noticed something protruding from his waist.

    Suspecting it was a weapon, I immediately arrested him and demanded to search him. But he resisted arrest and refused to be searched. However, I managed to pull out a dagger that was hidden behind his back.

    During the scuffle he fell to the ground and pulled a gun from his pants and fired at the worshippers as he was lying on the ground. Two bullets hit police corporal Ahmad al-Odwan, my cousin.

    I managed to take the gun from his hand and tied him up until the anti-terrorism units arrived and arrested him. I seized a 7mm pistol, 20 live rounds and two spent shells."

    The wounded policeman Odwan was brought to a hospital in critical condition, the police captain said.

    No official statement about the arrest was released by publication time. 

    Jordanian soldiers and relatives of one of the intelligence officers killed carry his body during his funeral [Muhammad Hamed/Reuters]

    Wanted for attempts to join ISIL

    Masharfeh is from the Baqa'a camp but little is known about his motive. He was born in 1994.

    Masharfeh spent two-and-half years in a Jordanian jail for attempting to enter Gaza to join the "jihad" against Hamas by joining a local Jihadist group in 2012, a source who spent time with him in prison told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity to protect his safety.

    The source said that ever since he got out of jail in 2014, Masharfeh has been trying to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in Syria, but he initially couldn't.

    It is not known whether Masharfeh was able to join ISIL in Syria or has received any combat training there.

    He has been wanted for questioning by Jordanian intelligence ever since.

    Arrest made in killing of Jordan intelligence agents

    Masharfeh is reportedly a nephew of Mustafa Yaghi, a well-known local politician and member of parliament. Yaghi denounced the incident in a statement published on his Facebook page on Monday calling it a "terrorist act". 

    "On behalf of myself and the people of al-Baqa'a refugee camp and the district of Ain el-Basha, I condemn this heinous crime against the agents of the intelligence department," his statement said.

    "Even if the perpetrator … who was arrested last night and mentioned on social media as being my nephew, it will not change our position of being against all forms of terrorism."

    Member of Parliament Mohamad Hejuj told Al Jazeera: "Extremism is a cancer that could be found not only in Baqa'a, but also in many other places. We all have a mission to stop it and keep our countries safe." 

    Follow Ali Younes on Twitter: @ali_reports

    Jordan intelligence agents killed in attack near Amman

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera



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