But don’t expect Team Obama to fess up. The video is not The Onion or a SNL skit, but could be.
Weapons shipped to Syrian rebels by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia were stolen by Jordanian intelligence and sold on the black market. Some of the stolen weapons ended up in the hands of a Jordanian police captain who attacked a police training facility and killed 5, including two Americans.
The existence of the weapons theft, which ended only months ago after complaints by the American and Saudi governments, is being reported for the first time after a joint investigation by The New York Times and Al Jazeera. The theft, involving millions of dollars of weapons, highlights the messy, unplanned consequences of programs to arm and train rebels — the kind of program the C.I.A. and Pentagon have conducted for decades — even after the Obama administration had hoped to keep the training program in Jordan under tight control.
The Jordanian officers who were part of the scheme reaped a windfall from the weapons sales, using the money to buy expensive SUVs, iPhones and other luxury items, Jordanian officials said.
The theft and resale of the arms — including Kalashnikov assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades — have led to a flood of new weapons available on the black arms market. Investigators do not know what became of most of them, but a disparate collection of groups, including criminal networks and rural Jordanian tribes, use the arms bazaars to build their arsenals. Weapons smugglers also buy weapons in the arms bazaars to ship outside the country.
The F.B.I. investigation into the Amman shooting, run by the bureau’s Washington field office, is continuing. But American and Jordanian officials said the investigators believed that the weapons a Jordanian police captain, Anwar Abu Zaid, used to gun down two American contractors, two Jordanians and one South African had originally arrived in Jordan intended for the Syrian rebel-training program.
The officials said this finding had come from tracing the serial numbers of the weapons.
Mohammad H. al-Momani, Jordan’s minister of state for media affairs, said allegations that Jordanian intelligence officers had been involved in any weapons thefts were “absolutely incorrect.”
“Weapons of our security institutions are concretely tracked, with the highest discipline,” he said. He called the powerful Jordanian intelligence service, known as the General Intelligence Directorate, or G.I.D., “a world-class, reputable institution known for its professional conduct and high degree of cooperation among security agencies.” In Jordan, the head of the G.I.D. is considered the second most important man after the king.
Representatives of the C.I.A. and F.B.I. declined to comment.
The Jordanian media flack has got a story, and he’s sticking to it. Unfortunately, it’s not the truth. One of the hazards of doing business in the Middle East is that there are so many grasping hands that want to rip you off that it’s very difficult to establish reliable, safe networks for arms unless you’re dealing directly with a government. In this case, it appears that Jordanian intelligence was supposed to physically bring the arms to rebels training at US-built facilities in Jordan right over the Syrian border. That most of the small arms didn’t make it shouldn’t surprise us.
And speaking of killing Americans, At least 12 released Guantanamo detainees implicated in attacks on Americans
The Obama administration believes that at least 12 detainees released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have launched attacks against U.S. or allied forces in Afghanistan, killing about a half-dozen Americans, according to current and former U.S. officials.
Related Creeping Sharia posts on Obama’s Jordanian jihad: