Roee Nahmias
January 15, 2010 - 1:00am,7340,L-3834738,00.html

Jordanian security forces apprehended a taxi driver suspected of planting the explosive device detonated near an Israeli diplomatic convey traveling from Amman to Israel, the al-Arabiya network reported Thursday evening.

The report is based on eyewitness accounts, the network said.

Hours after the attack, no organization claimed responsibility for the bombing, which took place around 5 pm local time. The explosion targeted a convey carrying four Israeli diplomats and two security guards traveling from the Amman embassy to the Allenby Bridge border crossing en route to their weekend vacation.

No injuries were reported in the blast. Israeli's envoy to Jordan, Danny Nevo, was not traveling in the vehicles targeted.

More arrests expected soon
Israeli officials who have been monitoring the probe into the attack are still uncertain as to the taxi driver's connection to the blast. Authorities in Jerusalem estimate that more arrests can be expected soon.

Israeli security officials who have been looking into the attack informed political leaders in Jerusalem that the botched bombing was a well-planned ambush. Fortunately, the timing of the charge's detonation was apparently a few seconds off, thereby leaving members of the convoy unharmed.

According to the initial investigation, the modus operandi in the attack is reminiscent of roadside attacks carried out by Hezbollah in Lebanon. However, Jordanian officials are still uncertain whether the attack was carried out by global Jihad activists, Hezbollah members, or possibly Hamas men.

According to some estimates, the attack involved the work of many terrorists, including planners, lookouts, and collaborators.

According to an official announcement issued by Jordan, the attack took place near a village located about 20 kilometers (roughly 13 miles) from the Allenby Bridge. Jordanian officials estimated that two bombs were utilized in the attack.

According to Jordanian media reports, the blast left a giant crater with a 10-meter radius at the site of the explosion.

Closure imposed on attack site
Jordanian authorities launched a probe into the incident in the wake of the blast, imposed a closure on the attack site, and raised the alert level of local security forces. A Jordanian source told Ynet that local troops dispatched to the scene of the blast escorted the unharmed Israeli diplomats to a nearby military base and later to the Allenby crossing.

Notably, a travel warning to Jordan issued by the Anti-Terrorism Bureau is still in place, based on a "concrete basic threat" against Israelis in the country. At this time, defense officials recommend that Israelis refrain from any visit or stay in Jordan.

Roni Sofer contributed to the story


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