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Rise of Local Salafist Jihadists Worries Jordan's Government

For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has been the Jordanian government's main political rival. But a new player has emerged to fret the Hashemite regime: homegrown Salafist jihadists.
Jordanian Salafi jihadi leader Abu Sayyaf (R) speaks to his supporters and the media during a demonstration against prolonged detention of the group's leaders near the prime minister's office in Amman, April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION) - RTXYES1

For decades the main political rival to the Jordanian regime was, and remains to some extent, the Islamist movement represented by the Muslim Brotherhood. The role of the Brotherhood as a major opponent has been amplified in the past two years after the eruption of the Arab Spring.

Defined as a moderate Islamist social organization whose aim is to reform society gradually through peaceful means, the Brotherhood has managed to coexist with the Hashemite regime in Jordan, which provided their members with a safe haven during the tumultuous years of the 1950s and ‘60s.

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