June 16, 2014

Jordan Has a Jihadi Problem Too

David Schenker, The American Interest

The Associated Press

The Jordanian city of Maan is boiling. Three hours of bad road south of the capital, Amman, this underdeveloped and economically depressed tribal town of 60,000 has long been a locus of anti-government protest. But lately the natives have been particularly restive. Last June, so many locals were firing automatic weapons at the downtown police station that a decision was made to move the headquarters out of town. More recently, violent clashes between Maanis and the gendarmerie have become so ubiquitous that a tank has been stationed along the highway at city limits. Endemic unemployment—believed to be more than 30 percent—is a big part of the problem. So is criminality and hair-trigger hostility toward the central government. Worse, the city’s residents are armed to...

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TAGGED: Middle East, Jordan

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