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Israelis evacuated before Jordan blasts

Tehran Times | November 14 2005

The blasts Wednesday at the Radisson, the Grand Hyatt and the Days Inn killed 57 people, as well as the three male bombers. More than 90 people were wounded.

Jordanian officials have said al Qaeda in Iraq, a group headed by wanted Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was responsible for the explosions.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israelis staying at the Radisson had been evacuated before the attacks and escorted back home "apparently due to a specific security threat".

Amos N. Guiora, a former senior Israeli counterterrorism official, said in a phone interview with The Times that sources in Israel had also told him about the pre-attack evacuations.

"It means there was excellent intelligence that this thing was going to happen," said Guiora, a former leader of the Israel Defense Forces who now heads the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

"The question that needs to be answered is why weren't the Jordanians working at the hotel similarly removed?"

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