Jordan Executes 15, Including Terrorists
Mass execution 'sends message to world'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 4, 2017 5:58 AM CST
Relatives of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar hold up signs protesting his death last year.   (Raad Adayleh)
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(Newser) – Jordan on Saturday executed 10 men convicted in a series of bombings and shooting attacks since 2003 that killed a British tourist, an outspoken critic of Islamic extremism, and members of the Jordanian security forces, a government spokesman said. It was the largest round of executions in recent memory, and the first since pro-Western Jordan launched a crackdown on Islamic extremists two years ago, after the killing of a captured Jordanian fighter pilot by ISIS, the AP reports. The prisoners were hanged at dawn Saturday at Swaqa Prison, about 47 miles south of the capital, Amman, the spokesman said. Five others were executed for other crimes, including incest.

The assailants executed for terror convictions had been involved in six different incidents, including a 2003 bombing attack that killed 19 at Jordan's embassy in Iraq to the September 2016 shooting of local writer Nahed Hattar on the steps of an Amman courthouse. Analyst Labib Kamhawi said he believes the executions were meant to send a triple message. They signaled to potential attackers that they can expect harsh punishment and reminded ordinary Jordanians that their country faces a serious security threat, he said. The message to the outside world, particularly the Trump administration, is that "Jordan is on top of things and that Jordan can be considered one of the allies in fighting terrorism," Kamhawi says.

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