Breaking News: Explosions in AMMAN!

Raddison SASUPDATE 3: Who are the culprits? Since no one has claimed responsibility for the barbaric attacks, speculation has already begun and almost everyone is pointing to the one and only Zarqawi. He has threatened Jordan publicly a number of times so no surprise there. Also, these similtaneous attacks bear the hallmarks of Al-Qeada. I would say the culprits are either Zarqawi or an al-Qaeda copycat. But I was surprised to hear Salamet Ne’mat, the director of Al-Hayat office in DC, saying on CNN that Syria might be linked to this. Ha? Why Syria? What kind of an analysis is this!

UPDATE 2: I just finished chatting with my sister. She just got home. It was difficult for her to get inside the neighborhood of Rabieh where my parents live and where one of the hotels was attacked. The police cordoned off the area completely and she was stuck in her car on the outskirts of Rabieyh for almost an hour. She made it home with the help of one policeman. The Days Inn Hotel, which was the third hotel attacked, is only one mile away from where my family lives. She said they can smell the smoke from our house. This is just horrible!

I’m a bit calmer now that I know that my immediate family members and most of my friends are okay. Thank God! Now it is time to unleash my anger at the bloodsucking low-life barbarians that attacked my country and killed my people.

May you enjoy the hell that is awaiting you, where, to your dismay, you will be greeted by seven demons instead of your long-awaited virgins! May you rot in hell over and over again along with Zarqawi, Bin Laden, Bin Shit and all those that support you. Nothing in the world can justify this. Those that try to justify this can rot in hell as well! May God protect my country and my people. May God bless the souls of those barbarically massacred today. We will never forget!

UPDATE: Here is the latest: Aljazeera is reporting that three explosins occurred in Amman. One at the Radission SAS, one at the Grand Hyatt and one at Days Inn in Rabyeh neighbourhood. My parents, my sisters and maybe half of Jordan live in Rabyeh. My parents live very close to the Days Inn. I just called them and thank God they are fine. Dad said he heard the explosion. The death toll so far is 18!!

I’m shaking as I’m writing this. I do not know what to say anymore. I’m appalled, disgusted and on the verge of tears. My sister is still driving back home and I can’t get a hold of her. I feel like smashing this monitor right now!

Here is the MSNBC report. A Yahoo slideshow here and Sabbah’s Flicker. AP is running a continuing update here

An explosion shook the Grand Hyatt hotel in Jordan’s capital late Wednesday, and witnesses saw smoke rising from the building. A police official said some people had been killed, "and there are many wounded." An American businessman who was at the hotel when the explosion occurred, said a "bomb that went off in the lobby." He declined to identify himself.

Police said the cause of the explosion was unknown. A black cloud of smoke was seen rising from the building in the commercial Jebel Amman district following the blast at about 8:50 p.m. (1:50 p.m. EST). Ambulances were seen rushing to the hotel.

58 thoughts on “Breaking News: Explosions in AMMAN!”

  1. I just came here to tell you! It’s being reported on Israel tv. This is really awful. Sky News is reporting 12 killed in three blasts!

  2. Absolutely appalling.
    Outraged.
    This is intolerable! I stayed at the Radisson this summer and am booked to stay there in less than three weeks!
    Eighteen dead! It’s bound to go up.
    Outrageous murder.
    Natasha, my heart goes out to you. I have to make calls too.

  3. Hayati Natasha, the first thing I thought of when I heard about it was to call your parents but unfortunately I don’t have their contact number. I’m so sorry to hear this is happening in your country. As a Lebanese, I can sympathize with you. It is one of the worst things in the world to see your nation unstable and being torn apart by terrorists.

  4. Natasha, my husband just called me and said he felt the blast too. I can’t believe I am not in the country with my husband and children! Of all the times to be gone! I am also shaking, it’s like the loss of our innocence, we’ve been hit. Hope you hear from Tania soon. I’m praying.

  5. Kinzi,
    Your children are in Amman?
    God be with you. I can’t imagine what it must feel like. I hope you speak with them soon.
    Aljazeera is quoting Jordanian officials saying the blasts were likely carried out by suicide bombers.
    Two hundred reported injured now.

  6. Aparently, a wedding party in one of the hotels was hit.
    I can’t believe this. I hope it’s not true.
    I just called my cousin in Amman a few minutes ago. She said she attended a wedding there yesterday.
    Her husband performs at popular nightclubs in the city.
    Jordanian officials are saying they expect the death toll to go up to 53 now!
    I am horrified.

  7. Aljazeera is saying a party held by “Asian” diplomats was hit at the Days Inn. They are quoting a Jordanian source (didn’t catch his name) saying a man with an explosive belt ran into the crowd.

  8. natasha, i am happy to hear your family is safe. god bless the victims and their families.
    and yes, the number went up to 53 according to the jordanian prime ministers office.
    They are saying as well that it was a wedding taking place in the radisson.

  9. Linda,
    Simply monstrous. I was just telling a Jordanian friend yesterday how much I loved Amman this summer. It’s become a metropolitan city attracting so many Arabas. And so many Iraqis.
    I am going a bit crazy watching these images of the Radisson where I booked to stay three weeks from tomorrow. Many Iraqis stay at that hotel.
    I am still going and if the hotel is functioning I will stay there inshallah.
    Amman is a second home to many and it we should all stand by it.

  10. This is shocking news even though we’ve been hearing for a while that Jordan is targeted but it never occurred to me at least that these barbarians were going through their threats, this is outrageous.
    I am glad that your family is ok, may Allah guard Jordan and its people from any harm.

  11. Aljazeera just showed pictures of at least three “Asian” gentlemen dead outside the Days Inn.

  12. Metal, it’s good to hear from you again and thanks for your concern. I can’t believe I’m on my very first business trip away from my family and this happens!
    My kids slept through the blast that rocked our house, and thank God, won’t be going to school tomorrow. I’m so afraid this will make them fear living in jordan, and it will cease to be their home in their hearts.
    Hope you can still come to Amman.
    The Chinese Embassy and Ambassador’s residence is not far from Days Inn.

  13. Kinzi,
    Am glad your children slept through this.
    Am watching this all unfold on Aljazeera.
    They’re saying a wedding reception attended by 250-300 people was hit at the Radisson SAS.
    Apparently, someone carrying explosives ran into the middle of the ballroom.
    They just updated the death toll to 67 dead.
    But am not sure of this figure.
    Wait yes, the deputy prime minister just said 67 dead and at least 150 injured.
    He also said they suspect the Zarqawi-led group Al Qaida in Iraq.

  14. Aljazeera just showed video footage of young children being treated at local hospitals.
    I think these are injured from the wedding reception.
    Oh, for the love of god, a baby of about two months with an arm bandaged.
    …..

  15. Natasha, Don’t go crazy…
    Jordan was strong before this. Is strong. And will be strong after this.
    I will update as I hear anything.

  16. Me too, Natasha! I’m in this ancient castle in the Alps of Austria and all I want is my family and my adopted country. Glad Tania got home OK.
    Phone lines are down but SKYPE is ok.
    A WEDDING! HOW COULD HE DO THAT? Walk into a wedding and kill people? Evil, despicable, depraved wickedness.

  17. Okay Press conference.
    Two suicide attackers – one targeted the wedding specifically at the Radisson SAS.
    Jordanian wedding.
    Repeat. This wedding reception WAS SPECIFICALLY targeted, Jordanian officials are saying.
    The attack at the Grand Hyatt was of a similar nature.
    Suicide car used at the Days Inn.
    Border crossings have all been closed.
    Jordanian officials cant confirm diplomats’ injuries.
    Aljazeera reported Koreans were killed.

  18. A doctor at Amman Surgical Hospital (am translating here) said all the injured were Jordanians and a few Iraqis.
    A Jordanian journalist has just said that three people attending the wedding – two Iraqis and one Bahraini – died on their way to the hospital.
    Mustapha Akkad – the famous Syrian-American director and producer (The Message, Halloween) was in the Radisson and that his daughter Reem was wounded in the blast.
    It is not known if she was attending the wedding.
    Jordanian deputy prime minister said no one has been arrested yet, but news is being updated as I write this.

  19. Aljazeera:
    Bomber headed towards the bar at the Radisson SAS, saw there was a party in the ballroom so he headed there and stood in the middle and blew himself up.
    The entire ceiling of the ballroom collapsed.
    Body parts litter the wedding reception.
    Aljazeera has names of those killed but is not releasing at the moment.
    They say two Jordanian families at the wedding.
    Most of the dead are from the Radisson and of Jordanian origin.
    More later …

  20. I really have no idea what this means but they said the wedding at the Radisson SAS was an “Islamic wedding”.
    Probably means no music or no bellydancer.
    I don’t know.

  21. I just heard they’re upto 67 dead.
    That 9/11 and 11/9 thing is creepy.
    I am so very sorry for your country and the Jordanian people. It boggles the mind how people think they can get virgins in heaven by killing innocent people.
    We’ll be praying for your country.

  22. Eyewitness (works in the hotel) in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt:
    There was one person who was acting very strange.
    He was wearing a suit. He was walking around the lobby. He had a strange accent.
    Hotel was at 98% capacity mostly arabs.
    (Aljazeera kept asking if there were Israeli tourists. They have not stopped asking this question even when analysts are telling them Israeli tourists in Amman have drastically dropped since th 2000 Intifada)
    (Aljazeera is really asking stupid questions. They are asking a waiter if he had heard from friends that a threat was imminent)
    The hotel worker said that there was an Iraqi man wearing a suit and tie who seemed nervous. He was not carrying a suitcase or seemed to be wearing an explosive belt but he seemed nervous.
    Hote worker said there were about 300 people in the hotel lobby.
    The hotel worker said there were many members of the Jordanian Mukhabarat (Secret Police) in the hotel at the time.

  23. Did anyone see a BBC interview with some journalist from Al Ghad? Apparently he said this crime was a punishment for the king.
    Anyone have anything on this let me know.

  24. Did anyone see a BBC interview with some journalist from Al Ghad? Apparently he said this crime was a punishment for the king.
    Anyone have anything on this let me know.
    Mustapha Akkad’s daughter has died of injuries she sustained.
    Akkad was injured in the neck, but not confirmed.
    Hyatt hotel officials say they have video showing the whole thing.

  25. Oh for pete’s sake.
    Aljazeera interviewed Fadi Qathi of human rights watch. He asked: Is Amman a war zone, a battle field? Tell us if it is. But it isn’t. So nothing can justify the killings of civilians.
    Nothing.
    Aljazeera interviewer: But the US military kills civilians without distinguishing them from fighters in Iraq.
    Qathi: That cannot possibly justify this act. No way.
    < >
    Hey Natasha, is it true King Abdullah is out of town? I wonder, if that is true, if it is related.

  26. Hi Natasha,
    Was about to fall asleep when I saw your email.
    It looks like it is Zarqawi or some linked group.
    It may have been Iraqis working with Al Qaida in Iraq, or Saudis.
    But Syrians. Never. This is not their MO. If anything, Syrians go for personalities.
    But the fact this happened while the King was out of Jordan is significant I think.
    Jareer, torture them to what aim? I think the evil doers perished in the act.
    But if they catch the masterminds, I think they should stand trial and have Jordanian law take care of it.

  27. (and the poor victims had no clue)
    Israelis evacuated from Amman hotel hours before bombings
    By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent
    A number of Israelis staying on Wednesday at the Radisson hotel were evacuated before the bombing by Jordanian security forces, apparently due to a specific security alert. They were escorted back to Israel by security personnel.
    The Foreign Ministry stated Wednesday that no Israeli tourists are known to have been injured in the blasts. Representatives of Israel’s embassy in Amman were in contact with local authorities to examine any report of injured Israelis, but none were received. There are often a number of Israeli businessman and tourists in Amman, including in the hotels hit Wednesday.
    Israel’s counter-terror headquarters on Wednesday recommended Israeli citizens not travel in Jordan. Travel warnings regarding Jordan were tightened a few months ago, but many Israelis still visit the country. Many also visit other regions such as the Jordanian Arava and the ancient city of Petra.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/643661.html

  28. May God bless Jordan. I hope to see many Jordanians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Iraqis, Palestinians and all marching in Amman in solidarity against this heinous bloodbath. Just as they burned the picture of bin Ladin, so too will they burn a picture of Zarqawi!

  29. “Aljazeera interviewer: But the US military kills civilians without distinguishing them from fighters in Iraq.”
    If the terrorists had the decency to wear uniforms like soldiers, it would be possible to distinguish them from civilians.
    But the goal of the terrorists is not to protect civilians from harm, as this terrible bombing once again showed.
    I understand the hotel is Palestinian-Jordanian-owned? Why would the terrorists target the very people they claim to be fighting for if they indeed valued their cause?
    Suicide is a sin. Suicide bombing is two the sin. They will burn in hell! But whom does that help?

  30. The terrorists were wrong this time; I can assure that they were thinking they are targeting western targets in those hotels

  31. “The terrorists were wrong this time; I can assure that they were thinking they are targeting western targets in those hotels”
    What do you mean “this time”?
    I wonder what they thought they could accomplish by targeting westerners (they must have noticed that the hotel was actually _in_ Jordan and staffed by locals)?
    I don’t think the terrorists much care about a supposed distinction between westerners and Jordanians and Iraqis. They just want to kill everybody who doesn’t agree with their own perverse rejection of Islam.
    Look at what the terrorists do. Do you think they attack mosques in Iraq because they think that by doing so they are targeting westeners?

  32. Regarding so-called “Andrew Brehm”‘s comments:
    “The terrorists were wrong this time; I can assure that they were thinking they are targeting western targets in those hotels”
    Are you BENT?!!!! Or just plain stupid. In that one statement you are tell us that either you are one the terrorists, or that somehow you think like a religious fanatic terrorist. How else can you “assure” us what the terrorists are thinks. Are you one of them, that you seem to have some “inside” perspective on what they are thinking?
    Now let’s examine the facts: The terrorist spoke to the wedding guests -in Iraqi accented arabic-, that PIG new that he was about to kill BABIES, CHILDREN, WOMEN and OLD MEN. He knew that hsi victims were Arab Muslims (real ones). He didn’t care! He was more interested in slaughter and mayhem (and possibly having an orgie with his so-called 70 virgins).
    Mr “Brehm” it’s idiots like you that give all arabs a bad name. I hope the Jordanian Mukhabharat finds you and rips your nails out.

  33. My apologies to Mr. Brehm, I mis-construed the order of postings and attributed Jareer’s comments to you.
    Regarding Jareer’s comments:
    “The terrorists were wrong this time; I can assure that they were thinking they are targeting western targets in those hotels”
    Jareer, Are you BENT?!!!! Or just plain stupid. In that one statement you are telling us that either you are one of the terrorists, or that somehow you think like a religious fanatic terrorist. How can YOU “assure” us of what the terrorists are thinking. Are you telling us that you are one of them? that you seem to have some sort of “inside” perspective on what they are thinking?
    Only a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer can “assure” us of what the terrorists are thinking. Is that what you are Jareer? … A terrorist sympathizer or a terrorist?
    Now let’s examine the facts: The terrorist at the Radisson-SAS spoke to the wedding guests -in Iraqi accented arabic-. That terrorist religious PIG knew that he was about to kill BABIES, CHILDREN, WOMEN and OLD MEN. He knew that his victims were Arab Muslims (real ones). He didn’t care! He was more interested in slaughter and mayhem (and possibly having an orgie with his so-called 70 virgins in Jana). What a total asshole, look at his motivation, in his mind, he is willing to kill scores of defenseless people in order to have 70 virgins in paradise satisfy his sick sexual desires; this is a much more plausible explanation of what this HYPOCRITE terrorist was thinking.
    PIGS like Abu-Musabh (Al-Khalili) Az-Zarkawi, the Shamil Basayev’s tchechen terrorists the shoot childern in the back in Beslan, Pakistani terrorists in Kashmir, Abu-Sayyaf in the Phillipines, and trash like Al-Quaida (Madrid, Riyadh, Iraq, New York, New Delhi, Bali & Jakarta Indonesia, Sharm-El-Sheikh Egypt, East Africa, and now Amman Jordan) are losing their “Jihad”, thats why they are now resorting to killing innocent mainly muslim civilians. It seems that they are frustrated that they are not receiving the support from normal, law-abidding, fun-loving, Muslims in the their pathetic defeatist struggle.
    Jareer it’s unthinking idiots like you that give all arabs a bad name. I hope the Jordanian Mukhabharat finds you and rips your nails out.

  34. So, you say that that idiot is loosing the support of law-abiding moslems. Does that imply if non moslems were attacked, he will be supported ? See who is the idiot now?
    You now go back to the street you came from and continue your education; there where you belong, man.

  35. Does that imply if non moslems were attacked, he will be supported ?

    Yes and many will support him even if he kills muslims.

    a member of Parliament, Nariman Rousan, bluntly accused the Israeli Mosad of being behind the terrorist attacks in Jordan.

  36. This Week in Palestinian Blogs: Bethlehem Issues Call to the World

    On behalf of Palestinian Bloggers, I extend my deepest condolences to the people of Jordan. We are all one in this. Those who died are our brothers and sisters, they are in our prayers, their memory will linger forever in our hearts. God bless the sou…

  37. This Week in Palestinian Blogs: Bethlehem Issues Call to the World

    On behalf of Palestinian Bloggers, I extend my deepest condolences to the people of Jordan. We are all one in this. Those who died are our brothers and sisters, they are in our prayers, their memory will linger forever in our hearts. God bless the sou…

  38. Well said Jack,
    You see I’ve lived in Jordan, I love the country and its people, and I think that Jordan’s monarchy is one the best things Jordan has. Some of my friends (JORDANIANS) got hurt in this murderous attack. I am not Jordanian, nor am I from the west. But I still care about the poor innocent people that got killed. UNLIKE THAT MORON JAREER, I don’t care what the religion or ethnicity of the victims is; what I care about, is that they were totally defensely and innocent.
    You see this illiterate kid “Jareer” said the following:
    “The terrorists were wrong this time; I can assure that they were thinking they are targeting western targets in those hotels”
    Clearly Mr. Jareer’s statement implies that killing westerner is legitimate and killing non-westerners is “wrong”. Since our friend Mr. jareer qualified his statement with “this time”. Meaning that had the terrorists killed non-westerners instead of westerners than they would not have been wrong “this time”.
    Mr Jareer further goes on to shoot himself in the foot by saying:
    “[1]Does that imply if non moslems were attacked, he will be supported? [2] See who is the idiot now?”
    Let’s answer each statement posed by this genius:
    “[1]Does that imply if non moslems were attacked, he will be supported?”
    ANSWER: That is precisely what YOU – JAREER- are implying in your [idiotic] statement. You said it and you meant it; I didn’t say it YOU DID. Your statement was sympathetic to the butcher terrorist cause.
    [2] See who is the idiot now?”
    Yes I see perfectly who the idiot is now, YOU, JAREER! Now and always you and your hypocrite ilk shall remain idiots.
    You sure are trying hard to get that FREE PERMANENT Mukhabharat MANICURE!!

  39. Obviously several of you have very passionate opinions about some things being discussed here. We ask only one thing of you: Do not make personal attacks. Attack the argument not the one arguing. Name calling and personal attacks are not tolerated here and if they continue they’ll be little choice left but to ban users and close down discussions. No one wants to see that. Keep focused on the argument. Let’s keep the discussion passionate but civil.

  40. This Week in Palestinian Blogs: Bethlehem Issues Call to the World

    This Week in Palestinian Blogs: Bethlehem Issues Call to the World – On behalf of Palestinian Bloggers, I extend my deepest condolences to the people of Jordan. We are all one in this. Those who died are our brothers and sisters, they are in our prayers,

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