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Muwaqqar shooting a 'lone wolf attack' — minister

By Khetam Malkawi - Nov 14,2015 - Last updated at Nov 15,2015

AMMAN — The deadly shooting by a Jordanian police officer last week was a “lone wolf attack” and not linked to any group, Interior Minister Salameh Hammad said Saturday.

On November 9, the officer, Captain Anwar Abu Zaid, killed five contractors working with the Public Security Department (PSD), and injured six people before he was killed. 

At a press conference to announce the results of the investigation into the incident, Hammad stressed that it was an individual act, and Jordan remains a safe and stable country despite the unrest in the region.

The investigation showed that the perpetrator committed the attack due to psychological and financial problems, the minister added.

“We followed all required procedures in the investigation and will announce any further details that might come up in the future,” Hammad told reporters at the press conference, also attended by Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani and PSD Director Maj. Gen. Atef Saudi.

He noted that the countries of the victims had been informed about the investigation and its findings. However, as the incident took place in Jordan, Jordanian authorities were in charge of the investigation.

“They trust the Jordanian authorities, they were informed of all the details and we have nothing to hide,” the minister stressed.

Two US contractors, one South African and two Jordanian translators were killed in the shooting, which took place at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre (KASOTC) in Muwaqqar.

Elaborating on the details of the incident, Saudi said Abu Zaid came from his hometown in the northern governorate of Jerash on a bus used to transport members of the PSD on the day of the attack. 

The perpetrator was carrying a Kalashnikov, the weapon he used in the shooting, in a bag that he claimed contained his winter clothes. In addition, he had 120 bullets for the Kalashnikov and 31 bullets for another pistol.

Brig. Gen. Hussein Abbadi, director of the Preventive Security Department, said Abu Zaid did not serve at KASOTC, noting that he worked at the Prince Hussein Bin Abdullah II Training Centre in the same area. 

After performing the noon prayer, he took his weapon and went to KASOTC on foot and started shooting at a truck that was transporting three people, one of whom was a US national who was shot dead, according to Abbadi.

Then Abu Zaid went inside KASOTC, where he killed four more people until he was killed, the official said.

The source of the weapon used in the attack has not yet been identified, according to Abbadi, and investigations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Hammad confirmed news reports that Abu Zaid had submitted his resignation a few days before the attack, adding that his colleagues said he was not acting normal.

 

“We assure you that we are doing our job with the utmost integrity. Members of the PSD are efficient at their jobs and we do not accept any doubts over their work,” he stressed.

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