Viewing cable 07AMMAN5023

07AMMAN50232007-12-26 13:15:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Amman

DE RUEHAM #5023/01 3601315
P 261315Z DEC 07
E.O. 12958: N/A 
REF:  STATE 169572 
¶1. (SBU) Embassy Amman warmly welcomes the visit of 
Representative Lincoln Davis and delegation to 
Jordan on January 12, 2008, as requested reftel. 
The travelers should carefully review this message, 
especially the threat assessment at paragraph 8. 
¶2. (SBU) Control Officer for this visit is Consular 
Officer Miriam Schwedt.  Contact information is as 
follows:  962-6-590-6720(office); 962-6-592-4102 
(fax); 202-536-5811 (home); 962-79-503-3513 
(mobile); and  The Embassy's 
after-hours telephone number is 962-6-590-6500. 
¶3. (SBU)  No hotel reservations have been made for 
this delegation as they will not remain in Jordan 
¶4. (U) Valid visas are required for entry into 
Jordan.  Visas may be obtained at Queen Alia airport 
though not at all land border crossings; however, 
Embassy Amman suggests visitors obtain their visas 
prior to arrival, as there can be long queues for 
visa issuance at the airport.  Money can be 
exchanged at Queen Alia airport or in the 
delegation?s control room. 
¶5. (U) Action request: Each visitor, regardless of 
length of stay, must bring/forward fiscal data to 
pay for direct costs of the visit.  Each agency, 
organization or visiting delegation will be charged 
for the actual costs attributed to its visit. 
Direct charge costs include, but are not limited to: 
American and LES overtime (for such services as 
airport expediting, cashier accommodation exchange, 
control room staffing, representational event 
support), travel and per diem costs incurred by post 
personnel in support of visitor?s field travel, 
rental of vehicles and other equipment, long 
distance telephone calls, office supplies, gasoline 
and other vehicle maintenance costs, departure tax 
and other airport fees.  Post will not provide 
service if fiscal data is not provided for the 
direct charges.  For TDYers remaining at post over 
30 days, there is a charge for ICASS support 
services.  This charge is for the following ICASS 
services:  Basic Package, CLO and Health Services. 
Agencies will not be billed until the accumulated 
invoice cost for TDY support exceeds $2,500 for the 
fiscal year.  If your sponsoring agency is not 
signed up for ICASS services at post, please be 
prepared to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for 
ICASS support services upon arrival.  The agency 
should provide post with a written communication, 
generated by the traveler?s headquarters, that 
confirms the agency will pay ICASS charges for the 
TDYer, provides the agency ICASS billing code the 
TDY support charges should be applied to, and 
authorizes the traveler to sign the ICASS invoice 
generated by the TDY module.  Where travel is 
urgent, the TDYer should bring this documentation 
with him/her to ensure there are no interruptions in 
the provision of service.  Post will not provide any 
service to a TDYer staying in excess of thirty days 
without provision of this documentation before day 
31 of the TDY. 
¶6. (U) HEALTH:  H5N1 avian flu was confirmed in 
poultry in Jordan in March 2006, and in the same 
month, the Government of Jordan confirmed a human 
case of H5N1 avian flu in a person who was infected 
in Egypt and traveled to Jordan while sick.  The 
World Health Organization declared Jordan to be free 
of avian flu in May 2006.  There have been no 
confirmed cases of avian flu in people or birds in 
Jordan since the summer of 2006.  Further cases of 
avian flu in both people and birds in Jordan remain 
possible.  For this reason and for normal health 
precautions, visitors are encouraged to avoid live 
poultry, poultry farms, and any dead birds. 
Visitors should use hand sanitizer and wash hands 
frequently.  Travelers should also patronize 
restaurants having high standards for food safety 
and hygiene, and ask that poultry and egg products 
be cooked thoroughly. 
Although Jordan does not pose any unusual health 
hazards for visitors, the quality of health care 
facilities is not up to the U.S. or European 
standards, particularly outside of Amman.  As 
medications on the local economy are often in short 
supply, visitors should bring sufficient medications 
to post for their chronic medical problems. 
Immunizations should be current for Tetanus and 
Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and B.  Visitors should 
drink bottled water rather than tap water.  Food in 
the hotels and most restaurants is safe to eat, but 
some of the smaller local restaurants do not always 
observe proper food handling procedures. 
Only those personnel covered under the State 
Department's medical program and who have a valid 
medical clearance for Jordan are eligible for a 
medical evacuation at USG cost.  All other visitors 
are advised to have their own medical evacuation 
insurance to cover evacuation by air ambulance. 
Otherwise it will be necessary to ensure that the 
respective agency will cover any costs related to a 
medical evacuation.  All local hospitals take major 
credit cards. 
compliance with State Department regulations and 
Embassy policies, visitors requesting unescorted 
access to the Embassy compound should inform RSO 
Amman of their security clearance level (if any) and 
should name the agency that granted that clearance. 
Telegrams containing this information should include 
the ?ASEC? tag to ensure distribution to the RSO. 
Electronic devices:  RSO approval must be obtained 
before any electronic device is brought into the 
Embassy. Privately owned laptops and personal 
computers, peripherals, diskettes, and tapes are 
prohibited in all mission facilities. 
Cellular/mobile phones and palm pilots are 
prohibited in controlled access areas. 
Travelers with USG-owned unclassified laptops or 
notebook computers, peripherals, diskettes, and 
tapes must receive RSO/IMO authorization before 
being granted access to U.S. Mission buildings. 
USG-owned classified computers must be sent to post 
via classified diplomatic pouch.  Classified 
equipment must bear external USG bar-code inventory 
numbers and classification markings commensurate 
with the highest level of information processed on 
the system.  Questions concerning other types of 
electronic devices and magnetic media may be 
directed to the RSO and IMO. 
Mandatory personal security training:  Per 04 STATE 
66580, all employees traveling to post for 30 days 
or more (whether PCS or TDY) must have completed the 
mandatory personal security training (State 
Department Security Overseas Seminar or equivalent) 
before arriving at post.  Agencies must provide the 
Chief of Mission with certification that this 
training will be completed prior to the employee?s 
travel.  Failure to do so will result in denial of 
country clearance. 
¶8. (U) THREAT ASSESSMENT: The threat of terrorism 
remains high in Jordan.  Transnational terrorist 
groups, as well as less sophisticated local 
elements, have demonstrated the capability to pose 
threats in Jordan.  The Al-Qaida in Iraq network is 
of particular concern for terrorist activities 
against U.S. and Government of Jordan (GOJ) targets 
in Jordan.  The Al-Qaida in Iraq network claimed 
responsibility for the November 9, 2005 bombings of 
three international hotels in Amman, which killed 60 
people and injured over 100.  Pedestrian suicide 
bombers wearing explosive vests carried the bombs 
into the hotels.  Al-Qaida in Iraq also claimed 
responsibility for the Aqaba rocket attacks on 
August 19, 2005 targeting a U.S. naval ship, which 
killed one Jordanian soldier and wounded another. 
The assassination of American diplomat Larry Foley 
outside his west Amman residence on October 28, 2002 
was also attributed to Al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu 
Musab Al-Zarqawi, who was killed in Iraq in June 
In addition, there has been a series of confirmed 
terrorist threats and disrupted terrorist plots 
targeting U.S. or Jordanian interests in Jordan.  In 
November 2006, the GOJ arrested four men who were 
planning to use a taxi cab to identify and 
assassinate an American.  In the same month, the GOJ 
arrested three men who were reportedly plotting to 
attack the U.S. Embassy and assassinate President 
Bush during his visit to Jordan.  In February 2006, 
the GOJ disrupted a terrorist cell plotting to 
attack Queen Alia International Airport.  In 
November 2005, the GOJ indicted six men for planning 
to carry out attacks against Americans at hotels and 
bars in Amman and Aqaba.  In August-September 2005, 
four militants were arrested for plotting 
assassinations of Americans in Jordan.  In July 
2005, GOJ authorities arrested 17 men who had 
planned to assassinate GOJ officials and Americans 
in Jordan; the group was reportedly linked to Al- 
Qaida in Iraq.  In February 2005, four men were 
arrested for plotting attacks against GOJ officials, 
tourists and five-star hotels.  In the same month, 
another group was disrupted while plotting to attack 
liquor stores in Amman and foreign tourists in 
Terrorists often do not distinguish between U.S. 
government personnel and private citizens. 
Terrorists may target areas frequented by 
Westerners, such as tourist sites, hotels, 
restaurants, bars, nightclubs, liquor stores, 
shopping malls, transportation hubs, places of 
worship, expatriate residential areas, and schools. 
In light of these security concerns, U.S. citizens 
are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance, to 
be aware of their surroundings, and to take 
appropriate steps to increase their security 
awareness.  It is especially important for travelers 
to be unpredictable by varying their times and 
routes and to maintain a low profile.  Moreover, 
U.S. citizens are urged to avoid contact with any 
suspicious or unfamiliar objects and to immediately 
report the presence of such objects to the 
authorities. U.S. Government personnel overseas have 
been advised to take the same precautions. 
Anti-American and anti-Western sentiment exists in 
Jordan and has been sparked on occasion by incidents 
in the region, particularly those related to 
Israeli/Palestinian issues and, to a lesser extent, 
Iraq.  This may lead to random acts of violence 
against Westerners.  On September 4, 2006, a gunman 
fired on foreigners at a popular tourist site in 
central Amman, killing one and injuring six. 
Travelers are advised to avoid any demonstrations or 
large gatherings of people.  Many demonstrations 
occur near mosques after Friday prayers. 
Consequently, special sensitivity and caution should 
be exercised at or near mosques and religious sites 
during holy days and the Friday Muslim Sabbath. 
Demonstrations also often take place at universities 
and refugee camps. 
Crime is generally not a serious problem for 
travelers in Jordan, but petty crime is prevalent in 
the downtown Amman Hashimiyah Square area and near 
the Roman Amphitheater.  In the narrow streets of 
the older parts of the city center, crowded 
conditions invite pickpockets and other petty 
criminals.  Travelers are urged to be more guarded 
in these areas so that they do not present easy 
opportunities for criminals. 
In central and west Amman, there have been reports 
of thieves snatching pedestrians? purses from moving 
vehicles and then driving off.  In some instances, 
victims were injured when they were unable to free 
themselves from their purses.  When carrying a 
purse, it would be wise to conceal it if possible, 
to avoid walking near the road within reach of 
passing vehicles, and to walk against the flow of 
Jordanian police have warned the public to exercise 
vigilance when leaving banks or ATM machines, as 
thieves have reportedly preyed upon persons soon 
after using these services. 
Western women both visiting and residing in Jordan 
report sexual harassment, stalking, and unwelcome 
advances of a sexual nature; there have been 
isolated reports of assault.  Women are advised to 
take reasonable precautions including dressing 
conservatively and not traveling alone.  Modest 
attire should be worn in deference to local custom. 
¶9. (U) TRAVEL GUIDELINES: American citizens and 
official visitors traveling in Jordan should 
exercise caution, be alert, and stay informed of 
regional and local events that could quickly impact 
the security environment in the country.  It is also 
recommended to maintain a low profile and not 
establish predictable patterns of movement, even if 
only visiting for a short period.  Yellow taxis are 
widely used throughout the country and for the most 
part without adverse incidents occurring.  Still, 
there have been confirmed reports of single females 
being assaulted or verbally harassed by taxi 
drivers.  The Embassy Internet website has a list of 
radio controlled taxi companies that the Government 
of Jordan has advised us vet their drivers at ocs/tax 
For further information, see the State Department's 
Consular Information Sheet for Jordan at cis/cis 
_1149.html and link from that site to the most 
recent Public Announcements on Travel in the Middle 
East and South Asia and the most recent Worldwide 
Visit Amman?s Classified Web Site at