On-Air Arrests in Zarqa


As a follow-up to the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi killing, I was watching Al-Jazeera a few minutes ago while the station's correspondent was broadcasting from Zarqa, Jordan, Zarqawi's hometown. While on air interviewing Zarqawi's brother-in-law, Jordanian security forces intervened and put an end to the exchange. The brother-in-law was arrested and so too was the correspondent.

The Jordanians reportedly helped the U.S. in finding Zarqawi, but the relationship between the Hashemite regime and the Islamists has long been a delicate one, blending confrontation and collaboration. The security services probably did not want too many people asking what a person like Zarqawi's brother-in-law–an Islamist who fought in Afghanistan, who referred to Osama bin Laden as "Sheikh Osama", who was apparently in regular contact with Zarqawi, and who in the television interview condemned the "Crusader" onslaught of the Americans–was still doing on the streets.

I wager he'll be released before long, but told to do no more interviews.