AMMAN, Jordan, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Intercepted emails show 11 Jordanians who allegedly plotted to attack civilian and government targets in Amman received help from an al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq.
The alleged plot, which officials said could have killed hundreds of citizens and foreigners, called first for coordinated suicide bombings of shopping malls and cafes in the Jordanian capital as a diversionary tactic to draw police and security attention, the Jordanian news agency Petra reported after the arrests were made in October.
Those attacks would be followed by the plotters' main target -- government buildings and embassies in southern Amman's affluent Abdoun district, the report said.
Police initially suspected the plotters were guided by al-Qaida's Iraqi branch, known as AQI, and now security authorities say new evidence in the form of intercepted emails prove the connection, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
The emails included instructions for making powerful explosives that could destroy shops, restaurants and embassies.
"What we're now seeing is al-Qaida in Iraq's revival, not only as a movement in that country but as a regional movement," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA counter-terrorism expert now with the Brookings Institution.
The same kinds of explosives are showing up in Syria, terrorism experts have reported, showing AQI is apparently attempting to rebuild old networks into Syria and Jordan "at an alarming rate," Riedel said.