The Attack that Killed 3 US Commandos Targeted “Guantanamo-2” Hidden in Jordan
The terrorist attack that on Nov. 4 claimed the lives of three US Army Special Forces soldiers at the entrance to the Prince Faisal air base was never satisfactorily explained officially.
US officials said they were members of a CIA-program for training moderate Syrian fighters when they were shot at a checkpoint at the base under “still-unclear circumstances.” Jordanian officials claimed that the US soldiers who were traveling by car failed to respond to demands to halt at the checkpoint and were shot.
Subsequent reports spoke of a firefight between the US servicemen and five or six Islamic State terrorists who were lying in wait to ambush their vehicle.
DEBKA Weekly’s counterterrorism sources can now reveal that the three late CIA servicemen were not heading for the Jordanian air base; nor were they trainers.
The Fort Campbell, Ky.-based staff sergeants, Matthew Lewellen, Kevin McEnroe and James Moriarty, were all members of the 5th Special Forces Group that operates, maintains and guards the Al Jafr detention camp, known in well-informed circles as “Guantanamo-2” or the “New Guantanamo.”
Its formal custodians are Jordan’s intelligence service and special forces. In practice, the camp is run by a CIA staff.
President Barack Obama spared little effort during his eight years in office to make good on his campaign pledge to shut down the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that was established by the second Bush administration to hold Al Qaeda captives. Keeping it open was “contrary to our values,” he said.
On Feb. 23, Obama released a plan to examine 13 new alternative sites for the transfer of the terrorists still incarcerated there. This plan brought him into conflict with Congress. He argued that terrorist groups use Guantanamo in their propaganda for recruiting and it therefore damages US national security.
The plan “which has my full support” was presented by the president as consisting of three elements: Detainees would be safely transferred; the threat posed by detainees not eligible for transfer would be reviewed; and those eligible for military trial would be identified.
Obama never disclosed that one of the few sites found suitable for the transfer was Al-Jafr, a lonely desert location, which lies 288km south of the Jordanian capital of Amman, between the Israeli and Saudi borders.
DEBKA Weekly’s counterterrorism and intelligence sources disclose that it currently houses the most dangerous Islamic State terrorists who are brought there when they are captured in Jordan, Syria and Iraq, as well as ex-inmates of the Cuban site.
Therefore, the attack which cost the lives of three American servicemen was not the result of a “chain of unfortunate events” between US and Jordanian soldiers, as was claimed, but a well-organized payback by a Jordanian ISIS cell.
Our sources report that the CIA and Jordanian General Intelligence investigators are now reviewing the evidence to discover if the attack was planned as a broader operation for several terror squads to break the captive jihadists out of the Al-Jafr detention facility.