2 Americans Killed as Jordanian Policeman Opens Fire on Instructors

AP/Maya Alleruzzo

A Jordanian policeman went on a rampage at a training center near Amman on Monday morning, killing at least four people, including two American instructors. At least five others were wounded in the attack, including two Americans and three Jordanians. The attacker himself was shot dead at the scene.

“A military official said the attacker was a police captain who worked as a trainer at the facility. The captain was married and had two children, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the government has not released the assailant’s identity,” reports the Associated Press.

Jordanian media reports have identified him as Anwar Bani Abdu, a veteran criminal investigator who was transferred to a post at the training academy, according to the UK Guardian.

According to an anonymous U.S. official, the Americans killed and wounded in the attack were part of a police training program administered by the State Department. All five of the Americans killed and wounded were described as civilians.

The two other fatalities were instructors from South African and Jordan. A Jordanian spokesman said an investigation into whether “the motive for the shooting was personal or political” has been launched. As the AP notes, the incident appears similar to the “green-on-blue” attacks by turncoat security trainees in Afghanistan who turned out to be Taliban jihadis.

The Guardian further observes that today marks the 10th anniversary of “a series of coordinated attacks by al-Qaeda in Iraq.” Al-Jazeera says it is perhaps more pertinent that the attack coincides with the tenth anniversary of a string of hotel bombings in Amman that killed 60 people.

The training compound where the attack took place is formally known as the Jordan International Police Training Center, according to the Guardian. It has been in operation since 2003, and has trained “53,000 police officers from Iraq, 8,000 from the Palestinian territories and additional groups from other Arab countries,” as described on its website. Jordan itself has been seen as a relatively stable, pro-Western nation.