A Katyusha rocket fired from Jordan landed near the airport in the Israeli city of Eilat Aug. 19, and at least two more rockets narrowly missed the USS Ashland, a US Navy ship moored at the Jordanian port of Aqaba near a US Navy ship, killing a Jordanian solider. Two US Navy vessels had been on a joint training exercise with the Jordanian navy, and left the area shortly after the attack. An Internet statement took responsibility for the attack in the name of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
“A group of our holy warriors…targeted a gathering of American military ships docking in Aqaba port and also in Eilat port with three Katyusha rockets and the warriors returned safe to their headquarters,” said the statement, which could not be immediately verified.
Jordanian police located the Katyusha launcher in a warehouse in Aqaba, which was rented this week by four Egyptian and Iraqi nationals, authorities said.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said he was in Jordan last week and spoke to King Abdullah about security cooperation. He said Israel had issued a travel warning for Jordan based on intelligence information that al-Qaeda was planning to attack Israeli targets.
Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV reported that an interrogation of al-Qaeda operatives captured recently in Jordan indicated that they planned to launch rockets at Eilat from Jordan.
Earlier this month, Israeli security sources said Turkish police had detained a suspected al-Qaeda militant from Syria who they say was organizing an attack on Israeli targets in Turkey, Haaretz reported. (Haaretz, VOA, Aug. 19)
Abdullah Azzam Brigades is the same group that was behind the Egypt resort bombings last month.