Yesterday, Jordanian soldier First Sgt. Ma’arik al-Tawayha, was found guilty in a Jordanian court for the murder of 3 American soldiers, and sentenced to life in prison.
|First Sgt. Ma’arik al-Tawayha being led out of court.
Credit: Khalil Mazraawi / AFP – Getty Images
His victims, Staff Sgt. Matthew Lewellen, Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, and Staff Sgt. James Moriarty were killed on November 4, 2016. Though the attack took place at an airbase less than 37 miles from Ma’an, known for its support for ISIS, the motive for the attack remains unknown. Al-Tawayha has no known ties to extremist groups and blamed the attack on a breach of protocol by the American soldiers — despite the fact that was disproved by a video of the attack.
But this is not an isolated attack on American soldiers in Jordan.
The previous year, in November 2015, a Jordanian policeman opened fire at a police center, killing two Americans, a South African and two Jordanians. He also wounded two other Americans and two Jordanians, before he himself was killed.
According to the US Army, to date, 7 US military personnel have been killed in the Middle East since President Obama announced the anti-ISIS mission in September 2014, and 5 of them were murdered inside Jordan.
In addition to support for ISIS itself inside Jordan, the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood is also active there and has become a force to be reckoned with as well.
After severing ties with the West Bank in 1988, Jordan held general elections for the first time since 1967, leading to King Hussein reinstating the Parliament in 1989 — and to the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood, in opposition to the the king.
Over the years, the Brotherhood has become popular for its network of charitable organizations, hospitals and mosques, and has won supporters in urban slums and Palestinian refugee camps.
The Brotherhood also funds Jordanian Ahlam Tamimi, the terrorist behind the 2001 Sbarro massacre in Israel, who recently lost her financial support from the Palestinian Authority.
|Screenshot from the 2007 film Hot House by Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan.
Credit: Legal Insurrection
is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood…The king is very, very respectful and careful of the Muslim Brotherhood. They haven’t been banned. They haven’t been shut down. There is a background here and it’s not legal, it’s political survival.
What now links together the murderer of the 3 Green Berets and the mastermind of the Sbarro Massacre is a letter written by James Moriarty, the father of one of the 3 murdered Green Berets, to Dina Kawar, the Jordanian ambassador to the US.
In the letter, Moriarty writes that the conviction of al-Tawayha is only the first step. In addition, Moriarty requests:
o That Tamimi be extradited to the US within 30 days to face trial for the murder of Malki Roth and Shoshana Yehudit Greenbaum, who was 5 months pregnant at the time
o That charges be filed against the Jordanians who stood idly by, enabling al-Tawayha to murder the 3 American soldiers
o That the FBI be allowed to interview al-Tawayha in order to see if he is ready to admit to why he murdered the soldiers
o That the video that captured the events of the murder of the soldiers be released to the families immediately
o That following the fulfillment of all of the preceding preconditions, restitution to the families of the soldiers be discussed
The key to the extradition of the terrorist Ahlam Tamimi is that despite Jordan’s claim that the extradition treaty between Jordan and the US was never approved by the Jordanian parliament, the treaty has already been used in 1995 to extradite a different terrorist to the US.
Ma’arik al-Tawayha has been successfully prosecuted for murder.
It remains to be seen whether Ahlam Tamimi will finally face justice as well.
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