Terrorist Attack in Amman, Jordan

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Terrorist Attack in Amman, Jordan

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 I was awakened at 10:20 P.M. last night in Amman by hotel employees who were evacuating the hotel where I am staying on my last night before flying back to the states. Three American owned hotels were attacked tonight by suicide bombers who seemed to be making a well timed statement. The blasts have killed at least 67 and wounded more than one hundred and fifty innocents.

All hotel guests and staff were ordered out into the streets around the hotel while security personnel searched the building for bombs. I was told by a security official that a vacant car with two bags in it was removed from the front of our hotel.

We stood in the streets for more than two hours wrapped in blankets and served coffee and tea by the staff. One of the managers read off a list of names of guests attempting to account for everyone. Some guests were moved to a nearby Sheraton Hotel for shelter. When our hotel was finally cleared we were body searched and allowed back to our rooms.

A security official told me our hotel was owned by Libyan President Moamar Quadaffi and terrorists would not dare attack this one because "they would be hunted down and dealt with." If you are going to visit a tough neighborhood it pays to pick the home of one of the toughest.

It appears this attack was planned to hit at the time of the evening news back in the states and create the maximum sensation and fear. I am winding up a 24 day trip to the Middle East and will be flying home in a few hours. My adrenalin is pumping and sleep is something that eludes me right now.

I hear there are demonstrations in the streets of Amman in support of Jordan's King Abdullah. Some speculate whether this attack is also aimed at creating some popular unrest against America's staunchest ally in the Arab world. Abdullah has clearly come down in support of America's efforts to bring peace to this region and has supported President George Bush's war on terror. After spending time in this country I hope this does not set back their efforts to modernize and seek closer economic ties with western interests. Our hotel has a mix of business people from several western nations here doing business. Out in the streets tonight I could hear Swedish, British and German languages. It would be a terrible setback for terrorists to upset this countries stability. It is an oasis in a very troubled region.

That's about all I can say from my perspective this morning. It is as close a brush with terrorism I hope to ever have.