Jordan arrests two Syria-bound jihadists

AFP , Tuesday 5 Jun 2012

Security official and relatives of two Syria-bound Jordanian Salafists claim they were attempting to cross into Syria to fight Bashar al-Assad's regime

Two Jordanian Salafists have been arrested as they tried to cross the border into neighbouring Syria to fight President Bashar al-Assad's forces, a security official and relatives said on Tuesday.

"Two men from the southern city of Maan were arrested Sunday on the border when they tried to illegally enter Syria," the security official told AFP.

He did not elaborate, but relatives of the men confirmed the two were jihadists.

"Omar Bazayaah and Khaled Khatib wanted to go to Syria seeking jihad against Assad's army and regime thugs," one of the relatives, who is also Salafist, told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"We have information that they are currently being interrogated."

In April, Jordan, which says it is hosting 120,000 Syrian refugees, arrested eight Sunni jihadists as they attempted to enter Syria.

Analysts have said foreign Sunni jihadists are fighting alongside the rebels against Assad's forces but their numbers are hard to assess and almost certainly small.

Damascus has repeatedly claimed that Al-Qaeda was involved in the uprising against the regime, in which more than 13,500 people have been killed since it erupted in March last year, according to monitoring groups.

Short link: