May 17, 2024 | Flash Brief

Jordan Foils Iranian Plot to Smuggle Weapons Into the Kingdom

May 17, 2024 | Flash Brief

Jordan Foils Iranian Plot to Smuggle Weapons Into the Kingdom

Latest Developments

Sources in Jordan confirmed on May 15 that an arms shipment dispatched two months ago to a Muslim Brotherhood cell in the Hashemite Kingdom was intercepted by the authorities, Reuters reported.

The report noted that the weapons sent by Iranian-backed Syrian militias were intended for use in acts of sabotage in Jordan by the Brotherhood. Jordanian authorities located the weapons when they arrested members of the cell in late March.

Jordan has thwarted multiple attempts by Iran and its network of proxy militias to smuggle weapons into the kingdom destined for Palestinian terrorist groups in the West Bank, including Claymore mines, Katyusha rockets, and C4 and Semtex explosives. However, some of the weapons seized in March were intended to foment violence inside Jordan.

Hamas, an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, subsequently denied it was involved in the plot, saying it had “no ties to any acts targeting Jordan.”

Expert Analysis

“It should come as no surprise that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which is the last pro-Western and pro-status quo nation in the northern tier of the Middle East, is in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s crosshairs. Instead of hedging away from Israel, now is the time for Jordan to double down on deepening ties with the Jewish state to counter Iran’s proxy threat.” Behnam Ben Taleblu, FDD Senior Fellow

“Time and again, Iran has attempted to exploit vulnerable countries in the Middle East to spread the Islamic Revolution and expand its network of proxy militias. Months of anti-Israel rhetoric from Jordanian officials and mass protests in Amman against Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel have made the kingdom an attractive target for Iran. While efforts by Jordanian authorities to thwart Iranian-led attempts to destabilize the country are welcome, a coordinated effort with allied countries may be necessary to ensure the regime does not gain a foothold in the kingdom.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Iraqi Militia Threatens to Arm Jordanians for Attacks Against Israel

In another recent episode, a senior official of Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, boasted on April 1 of his group’s willingness to arm 12,000 members of an unknown organization called the Mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance in Jordan. The weapons would include “light and medium weapons, anti-armor launchers, tactical missiles, millions [of rounds] of ammunition, and tons of explosives,” he said. The arms would be used “in the defense of our Palestinian brothers” and “revenge for the honor of Muslims” killed by Israel,” Askari added.

Askari issued his threat following the deaths of two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) generals and five other officers in an air strike in Syria. Askari attributed the strike to Israel, calling it a “Zionist-American attack.” The United States designated Kata’ib Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization in 2009.

Hezbollah Brigades threatens to train 12,000 Jordanians to battle Israel,” by Joe Truzman and Bill Roggio

Iran and its network of militias threaten to destabilize Jordan,” by Joe Truzman

Jordanian Air Force Strikes Iran-Linked Drug Smugglers,” FDD Flash Brief

Issues:

Arab Politics Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War Jordan Palestinian Politics Syria