Classified By: AMBASSADOR EDWARD W. GNEHM FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D)
1. (C) Per reftel, a number of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs)--mostly Palestinian rejectionist groups--maintain a clandestine presence in Jordan. Those that qualify under the FTO status are HAMAS, PFLP, PFLP-GC, PIJ, Abu Nidal, and Hizballah. Although DFLP no longer qualifies as an FTO, they too maintain a presence in Jordan. To our knowledge, these groups are not currently involved in targeting U.S. or Jordanian interests, but use Jordan as a base for propaganda, fund-raising, and political purposes. These groups probably also provide some support infrastructure--including weapons smuggling--for anti-Israeli operations inside Israel and the West Bank.
2. (C) We believe al-Qa'ida also has a presence in Jordan. Two cells affiliated with the al-Qaida organization were arrested in 1999 for plotting to carryout attacks against hotels catering to Westerners and at Christian religious sites within Jordan. A recent thread of reporting indicating that al-Qa'ida members may have planned to conduct kidnapping operations against American businessmen in Jordan suggests al-Qa'ida continues to consider Jordan as a platform for its anti-American operations.
3. (C) There are also a unknown number of Islamic extremists in Jordan who sympathize with Bin Ladin's anti-American message or related extremist idelogies. Jordanian officials recently arrested a number of these sympathizers who may have been planning to target Americans in West Amman, the area where the U.S. Embassy is located. We continue to monitor these Islamists to see if they coalesce into an organized group that would qualify as an FTO.
4. (C) The GOJ continues to aggressively pursue counterterrorist operations against all these groups. The GOJ also vigilantly patrols their borders and has successfully disrupted several attempts to smuggle personnel and weapons to Palestinian rejectionist groups in Israel and the West Bank.