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Jordan takes wait-and-see approach on Islamic State

Public pressure is mounting on the Jordanian government to act decisively against jihadists, fearing the kingdom could become the next target of the Islamic State.
A Jordanian trailer carrying a military tank drives along a road in Ruweished, near Jordan's eastern border with Iraq, east of Amman June 23, 2014. Sunni tribesmen took control of a border crossing between Iraq and Jordan after Iraq's army pulled out of the area following clashes with rebels, Iraqi and Jordanian intelligence sources said on Monday. It was not immediately clear if the tribesmen's seizure of the Turaibil crossing, the only legal crossing point between Iraq and Jordan, late on Sunday was part

For weeks now, Jordan’s punditry has been debating the same issue: Will the kingdom become the next target for the Islamic State (IS)? Government officials, newspaper columnists and members of the political establishment have responded to growing fears by citizens that the extreme Salafist jihadist organization may soon direct its attention toward Jordan, in light of recent territorial gains in Syria and Iraq and the latest incursion into the Lebanese border town of Arsal.

Adding to local concerns is the fact that Jordan’s own Salafist jihadist movement is now divided over its support of IS, and the declaration by its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, of an Islamic caliphate in territories under his control. Last month, a group of Jordanian Salafists were caught on video, in the eastern city of Zarqa, chanting slogans in support of IS and pledging allegiance to Baghdadi. The video went viral on social media networks.

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