Homeland Security

3 U.S. Service Members Killed in Attack at Gate of Jordanian Air Base

3 U.S. Service Members Killed in Attack at Gate of Jordanian Air Base
A U.S. Marine rappels from a UH-1N Huey helicopter during a rope exercise as part of Eager Lion 2013 at King Faisal Air Base, Jordan, on June 11, 2013. (Defense Department photo)

Nearly a year after ISIS claimed a lone-wolf attack that killed two Americans and others at a police training facility outside Amman, three American service members were shot to death today at a Jordanian air base.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement that the trio of unidentified service members “were in Jordan on a training mission, and the initial report is that they came under fire as they were entering the facility in vehicles.”

“We are working closely with the government of Jordan to determine exactly what happened. Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of these service members,” Cook said. “We will provide more information as appropriate.”

The Jordan Times reported that the shooting happened at the gate of the King Faisal Airbase in Al-Jafr, a city in the Ma’an Governorate about 190 miles east of the capital Amman. The U.S. service members were flight instructors, the newspaper said.

A Jordanian non-commissioned officer was wounded in the attack.

Jordan’s state-run Petra news agency reported: “The official source said that investigation is underway and warned against circulating the names of those involved in the incident, including the Jordanians and foreigners.”

There have been no security messages issued to U.S. citizens in Jordan by the embassy in Amman.

On Nov. 9, 2015 — a decade to the day after a trio of coordinated hotel bombings orchestrated by al-Qaeda in Iraq killed 60 people across Amman, including at a wedding — two Americans, one South African trainer and two Jordanian translators were killed when Capt. Anwar Abu Zaid, 28, opened fire at the police training facility. Two Americans, a Lebanese and four Jordanians were wounded. Abu Zaid, who worked at another training facility but handed in his resignation a few days before the attack, was killed by security forces.

Jordanian officials said Abu Zaid had a Kalashnikov tucked in a bag along with 120 bullets, and a pistol with 31 extra bullets. First Abu Zaid prayed at noontime, then started shooting at a truck that was moving through the facility, killing one of the Americans. Then he went inside the facility where people were having lunch and killed four more people before he was shot dead.

Lloyd “Carl” Fields, Jr., 46, of Cape Coral, Fla., formerly a deputy sheriff at Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana, began working for contractor DynCorp International in 2006 as a police adviser in Iraq. He later worked in Afghanistan as a police adviser and embedded police mentor before moving on to Jordan. He left behind a wife and three children.

James “Damon” Creach, 42, of New Tampa, Fla., previously worked for the Virginia Beach Police Department and at the time of the attack worked as a law enforcement instructor for DECO Inc. He was married with three children.

A week after the attack, PJM was the first to report on ISIS’ claim of responsibility issued in a statement through their Al-Battar Media Foundation. “Yes… we kill the Americans in Amman,” the terror group said, using the words “lone wolf” to describe the attack.

ISIS later claimed the attack in an issue of their Dabiq magazine: “Anwar Abu Zeid – after repenting from his former occupation – attacked the American crusaders and their apostate allies, killing two American crusaders, two Jordanian apostates, and one South African crusader. These are the deeds of those upon the methodology of the revived Khilāfah. They will not let its enemies enjoy rest until enemy blood is spilled in revenge for the religion and the Ummah.”

Jordanian and U.S. officials, though, have never publicly attributed the attack to ISIS.

Fields’ widow, Tamara, sued Twitter for enabling the distribution of ISIS propaganda, charging that “without Twitter, the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most-feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible.” The lawsuit was dismissed in August.

In June, ISIS’ Amaq news agency claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing targeting a Jordanian base used by the U.S. military.

“The martyrdom attack which hit the U.S. Jordanian Rakban Base inside Jordan was carried out by a fighter of the Islamic State,” the Amaq statement said.

The base on the Syrian border is located next to a refugee camp. Five Jordanian guards were killed.

ISIS has not issued any statement yet regarding today’s attack.

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