Note the salient passage: "The head of the group, Azmi Jayousi, said that he ... met him again in Iraq without giving any dates..." [but most likely during 2002] "I pledged allegiance to Zarqawi and after the fall of Afghanistan I met him again in Iraq"
Jordanian Militants Shown Confessing on State TV
Monday, April 26, 2004; 4:23 PM
By Suleiman al-Khalidi
AMMAN, Jordan (Reuters) - Jordanian state television aired Monday what it said were confessions by captured militants tied to al Qaeda who said they had planned deadly chemical attacks that could have killed thousands of people.
Authorities had already reported the plot earlier this month, but the confessions shown on a prime-time broadcast provided further details of the planned attacks.
The arrested militants, who included Syrians, said they were ordered by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, accused by Washington of being a top al Qaeda supporter, to attack targets that included the heavily fortified U.S. embassy and intelligence headquarters.
The head of the group, Azmi Jayousi, said that he first met Zarqawi during his training in an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan and met him again in Iraq without giving any dates.
"I pledged allegiance to Zarqawi and after the fall of Afghanistan I met him again in Iraq," said Jayousi, who had clearly identifiable bruises on his face and palm.
"Zarqawi commissioned me to go to Jordan to wage military action," Jayousi said in the 20-minute broadcast where he calmly recounted how he carefully planned with his accomplices the chemical attacks using trucks.
Jayousi said he set up a chemical factory near the northern city of Irbid, close to the Syrian border, and received $170,000 in financing and logistic aid along with fake passports and forged banknotes from Suleiman Darwish, an alleged Zarqawi aide living in Syria.
Another captured militant shown on television was a Syrian national, Annas Sheikh Amin, 18, who said he went to Afghanistan where he was trained at a Qaeda camp before heading to Jordan.
Jordanian Hussein Sharif said he was driven by a fervent belief that the attacks would promote the cause of Muslims. "I agreed to this operation because I thought it would serve Islam," a bearded Sharif said.
Jayousi said he planned the attack with trucks laden with 20 tons of explosives. King Abdullah said after the arrest of the group earlier this month that it had had saved "thousands of lives"
В© 2004 Reuters