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US Embassy in Jordan Cancels Event

June 30, 2000

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ The U.S. Embassy in Jordan said Thursday it was canceling a Fourth of July reception, a decision that follows the mission’s announcement it may be a target of a terrorist attack.

An embassy statement did not spell out the reason for canceling the event.

Jordanian Information Minister Taleb Rifai said in a telephone interview Thursday that the ``embassy is free to take whatever measures it deems appropriate, but we don’t believe that such action is necessary at all.″

The cancelation comes a week after the embassy said the U.S. government ``has information concerning terrorist targeting″ the compound in Amman.

``While the U.S. has full confidence in the government of Jordan’s demonstrated ability and willingness to address security threats, the full dimensions of the threat are not known,″ the announcement said.

It said it could not rule out other possible targets in the country, and urged Americans traveling or residing in Jordan to ``exercise prudence and ... review their security practices, and to remain alert to changing situations.″

In Brussels, Belgium, three U.S. diplomatic missions have also decided to cancel a July 4 street party due to security concerns, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said.

Reeker attributed the cancellation to the ``particular security situation and the physical situation of that event.″

The plan had been for the event to be held in a tent on a closed street.

Last December, the Jordanian government said 28 Arabs suspected of links with Osama bin Laden had planned to carry out terrorist attacks against American and Israeli tourists during New Year’s celebrations in Jordan.

Sixteen have been arrested and are on trial in a military court. They have pleaded innocent and denied links to bin Laden, the Saudi exile. The rest are being tried in absentia.

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