Jordan: media, 500 join ISIS, 2,000 with Al Nusra

For ideological, as well as economic reasons

01 December, 13:12

    (ANSAmed) - AMMAN, DECEMBER 1 - More than 500 Jordanians have joined the Islamic State (ISIS) either out of ideological inspiration ore for financial reasons, salafi leaders told al Ghad daily newspaper on Monday.

    Experts said that the US lead alliance and the smear campaign against salafi groups, coupled with sectarian fight in Iraq and Syria, has helped attract large number of salafis out of ideological belief. The financial power of ISIS, described by the US state department as the richest militant group in the world, has helped lure large number of Jordanians and other foreigners, they said, noting that the group leader, Abu Baker al Baghdadi has recently ordered payment of up to USD 60,000 for local commanders in perks as part of holy eid, according to the newspaper.

    But the majority of salafi jehadis from the kingdom are fighting with al Qaidha affiliated, Jabhat al Nusra, they said.

    The large number of Jordanian commanders in JN as well as the fact that the group takes from the southern town of Deraa, on the Jordanian border, as a major headquarters helped attract Jordanians for logistic reasons.

    Experts estimate at least 2000 Jordanians fight with JN, out of which around 200 have been killed since the war started in Syria in 2011.

    Jordan has launched a crackdown campaign on supports of JN and ISIS, putting dozens to trial at the military run state security court and imposing heavy prison sentences on those who return from fighting in Syria.

    Amman, a staunch ally of the US, has joined the international alliance to fight ISIS and JN in Syria, providing its airforce basis as a launching pad for western jet fighters and providing intelligence gathering services.

    Earlier this week, France deployed four Mirag jet fighters in Jordan's northern base of Mafraq as part of the war waged on ISIS. But Amman has ruled out possibility of taking part in ground offensive against the group.(ANSAmed).

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