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Jordan thwarts Al Qaeda-linked plot

AMMAN, Jordan — Jordanian authorities have arrested 11 suspected Al Qaeda-linked militants for allegedly planning to attack shopping malls and Western diplomatic missions in the country, the government said Sunday.

The plot is the first to be unveiled since a triple hotel bombing in Amman almost seven years ago, which killed 60. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack, citing its rejection of Jordan’s alliance with the United States and its 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

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Jordanian officials and Arab diplomats have been voicing concern over stability in the kingdom, which lies at a precarious corner in the Middle East, neighboring the hot spots of Syria, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories.

The officials and diplomats, insisting on anonymity because they are not allowed to make statements to the press, have warned of plots to destabilize the kingdom.

They say militants seek to use its territory as they consolidate their foothold in Syria — which lies on Jordan’s northern border.

Announcing the foiled plot, government spokesman Sameeh Maaytah told an impromptu press conference that the suspects are all Jordanian and are in police custody.

‘‘They were plotting deadly terror attacks on vital institutions, shopping centers and diplomatic missions,’’ he said. ‘‘They sought to destabilize Jordan. They plotted against Jordan’s national security.’’

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