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GID fully supports Royal Committee’s recommendations — intelligence chief

GID foiled 120 terrorist plots locally, globally, Husni says

By JT - Oct 04,2021 - Last updated at Oct 04,2021

General Intelligence Department chief Major General Ahmad Husni speaks during a meeting with media figures (Photo courtesy of GID)

- GID supports reform process, youth participation in political life

- Amman enjoys good ties with Damascus, ‘chaos’ in south Syria a cause of concern

AMMAN — The General Intelligence Department (GID) fully supports the outcomes of the Royal Committee to Modernise the Political System, according to GID chief  Major General Ahmad Husni.

The GID will support partisan life in Jordan and political parties whose top priorities are serving the national interests and addressing the concerns of Jordanians, the intelligence chief said.

The department will work on facilitating the implementation of the Royal Committee's recommendations as they serve the national interests and are in line with His Majesty King Abdullah's vision, the GID chief said at a meeting with media figures.

"We strongly believe in the importance of having political parties with national agendas and interests. We will work on protecting the outcomes of the committee and we will support the recommendations out of our absolute conviction that they serve the national interests," he said.

"Any political party that places national interests at the top of its agendas will have our support. We hope that we will have strong political parties that not only address the concerns and woes of citizens but also propose solutions," he added.

He indicated that the GID is keen about more participation of youth in political life and encourages youth to join political parties.

Stressing that the GID will be part of the reform process, Husni said the department will continue to be a partner with all stakeholders in serving top national interests. 

“Jordan is facing accelerating and tremendous challenges, but the Kingdom is strong and is holding the fort,” he said.

The relationship between the population and the leadership is strong and “the internal front is solid”, he said.

Husni added that the GID is “adapting to live up to” the growing challenges imposed by the regional conditions.

The GID has played a key role in absorbing the challenges at all levels and it is being restructured to take up new ones, Husni said.

The intelligence chief stressed that the GID is subject to accountability and abides by the regulating laws.

The GID operates within a “progressive, developed and flexible system” governed by the law and enjoys professional relationships with the other establishments in the Kingdom, he said.

"We are flexible enough to address all the new and evolving challenges," Husni said.

The intelligence chief stressed that the rule of the law is the key.

"We are working day and night so citizens feel safe and secure. Citizens are fully aware that they are protected under the rule of law. We have a complementary relationship with all other stakeholders, including the civil and the military establishments," he added.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the GID has played a major role in containing the crisis, Husni noted. 

The lockdowns were meant to protect the lives of citizens. The department also worked through the government to provide economic incentives to mitigate the damage caused by the pandemic.

"We did not have the collapse of any sectors in spite of the mounting challenges. However, unemployment unfortunately soared and we are concerned about this issue and about citizens' living conditions. We do not want to see the emergence of some pockets where citizens will be exploited by some groups in light of the conditions they are facing," he added.

"We do not see any spots in Jordan where youth will be exploited by external groups in spite of their conditions," he said.

On external relations, the GID takes pride in training several security establishments across the world on combating terrorism and extremism, the intelligence chief said.He noted that "we have great cooperation at the Arab and international levels" in this regard.

The GID is focused on strengthening relations and security cooperation with the Arab world and beyond, he said.

Husni highlighted that Jordan was the first country in the world to announce that it would fight terrorism locally and internationally out of its strong beliefs that the threat is common and affects all.

The GID, he said, has a key role in the international alliance for combating terrorism and its intelligence relationship with the Arab and non-Arab states is strong. This is essential in light of the spread of terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, he added.

The intelligence chief highlighted the need for continued coordination as there are foreign fighters still in the region and their return to their countries will have an impact. 

“There is a whole generation in the region that was raised on the rejection of others, including women and children, and they need rehabilitation,”Husni said.

According to Husni, the GID thwarted 120 terrorist plots locally and globally. Out of the total, 52 terrorist plots were at the local level and involved 103 persons.

The GID has also foiled 68 terrorist schemes in Europe and the US and other countries, the intelligence chief said.

Several cyber threats against Jordanian institutions also occurred and the GID played a role in identifying the source of threats and deterring future attacks, he said.  

“Several public and private institutions’ systems were penetrated and we addressed these cyber attacks,” Husni said.

In 2019, the GID thwarted 95 attempts to smuggle drugs, weapons and individuals. A total of 240 persons were involved in these attempts, of whom 91 have been referred to the judiciary, the GID chief said.

During the meeting, Husni said one of the most pressing challenges Jordan faces today is not just terrorist plots, but the drug smuggling attempts at the country's northern borders with Syria, which he called a "disaster".

"We have uncovered major attempts and there are still smuggling attempts every day. In some of the targets, we have not even allowed them to reach our borders… There is collaborative work with all stakeholders and there is daily coordination," he said.

"This is the most dangerous issue threatening us at this stage and soon there will be a security campaign to address this issue," Husni noted.

Jordan enjoys a distinguished relationship with Iraq, he said. The GID’s cooperation with the Arab world is part of efforts to open doors for stronger economic cooperation to boost the economy and reduce unemployment, Husni said.

The intelligence chief said the Kingdom now enjoys a good relationship with Syria, he said. Jordan's closer cooperation with Syria seeks to serve the top national interests,” Husni said.

Jordan is coordinating with Syria due to the “chaos” in the southern parts of the country. 

"We need to coordinate with the Syrians to help create a better environment that would allow for the return of refugees to their homes and to help support Lebanon… Since the start of the crisis in Syria, Jordan has repeatedly called for a political solution in the country," he said.

"We deal with Syria bearing in mind Jordan's top national interest and we do not try to interfere in internal Syrian affairs," he added.

He stressed that the return of calm in the southern parts of Syria are of high importance for Jordan as there is a large presence of terrorist groups near the Jordanian borders.

"The return of calm is important to allow for the voluntary return of refugees to their homes. There are also pending water issues between the two countries that need to be addressed," he said. 

Husni stressed that Jordan opened its doors for refugees and “provided all it could”. 

“We did not lose our humanity and helped them,” he said.

Jordan neither supported nor was against the Syrian opposition figures in the country, but “provided them with a safe haven”, he added.

“Jordan will not harm the Syrian opposition figures. They have our respect and at the same time Jordan is keen on serving its top national interests,” he added.

"We need to open channels of communication with the Syrian regime to achieve calm in the southern parts of Syria and clear the area. The continuation of escalation in the southern parts of Syria does not serve anyone,” Husni said.


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