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Cablegate: Travel to Jordan of Deputy National Security

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 002450

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAL IS JO OVIP HADLEY STEPHEN EDRC
SUBJECT: TRAVEL TO JORDAN OF DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY
ADVISOR STEVE HADLEY

REF: WHITE HOUSE 300020Z MAR 04

Sensitive but unclassified. Please handle accordingly.

1. Embassy Amman warmly welcomes and grants country
clearance to Deputy National Security Advisor Steve Hadley
and his party for travel to Jordan March 31. Control
officer, Embassy expediter, vehicles, and Embassy baggage
handlers will meet the party on arrival.

2. Control Officer for the visit is Political Counselor Doug
Silliman. Mr. Silliman's contact information is as follows:


962-6-590-6880 - office-direct line;
962-6-590-6591 - office secretary (Marcia Romero);
962-79-560-8993 - cell;
962-6-592-9849 - home;
sillimanda@state.gov - office e-mail;
sillimandams@state.sgov.gov - classified SIPRNET e-mail;
sillimans@index.com.jo - personal e-mail.

3. (SBU) The following is the group's tentative schedule in
Amman.

March 31, 2004

0055 Arrive at Queen Alia Airport. Met by Control officer
and expediter in VIP lounge. Transfer to Marriott Hotel.

0800 Depart Marriott for Embassy

0815 Briefing with Amb. Gnehm.

0915 Meeting with Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher

1130 (TBC) Meeting with GID Director Saad Kheir

1220 Meeting with King Abdullah (not/not a lunch as
originally planned)

1300 Depart meeting with King Abdullah, return to
Embassy/Hotel

1345 Depart for airport

1430 Wheels up for Sharm al-Sheikh (delayed to 1430 by crew
rest issues)

4. Embassy has made reservations for the party at the Amman
Marriott Hotel, a 20-minute ride from the Embassy. Phone:
962-6-560-7607; Fax: 962-6-567-0100. The hotel is within the
per diem allowance and accepts Visa, Master
Card and Amex.

5. Valid visas are required for entry into Jordan. Visas
may be obtained at Queen Alia airport; however,
Embassy suggests visitors obtain their visas prior to
arrival, as there can be long lines for visa issuance
at the airport. Money can be exchanged at Queen Alia airport.

6. Each visitor, regardless of length of stay, must have
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 the 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.

7. Threat assessment:

While anti-West sentiment has been less pronounced since the
end of the Gulf War, political issues
involving post war Iraq and the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian
situation continue to fuel resentment toward U.S. policy.
Warden messages disseminated in January and March 2004,
alerted Americans to potential terrorist targeting of U.S.
interests in Jordan, including hotels. Recent incidents in
Jordan remind us of the ability of
transnational terrorist groups, as well as less sophisticated
local elements, to target Americans and Western interests in
Jordan. In September 2003, 13 individuals were arrested for
plotting attacks against U.S. and Jordanian targets,
including the U.S. Embassy in Amman. In May 2003, three
individuals connected to the Zarqawi network were arrested
for planning attacks against foreigners and tourist
locations. The October 28, 2002 assassination of a U.S.
diplomat in Amman outside his residence was ultimately linked
to al-Qaeda. Jordanian authorities arrested the assassins in
December 2002. In October 2002, Americans in Jordan were
informed of a potential kidnapping plot by al-Qaeda. In
December 1999, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda was arrested
in Jordan. This group was in the late planning stages of
attacks against western hotels and tourist sites. The most
recent published terrorist alerts have stated that extremist
groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S.
interests worldwide.
Crime is generally not a serious problem for travelers in
Jordan, although petty theft is somewhat common in the
downtown Amman Hashimiyah Square area and near the Roman
amphitheater. In the narrow streets of the old city and at
some of the more popular tourist sites, crowded conditions
invite pickpockets/purse snatchers and other petty criminals.
Travelers should be more guarded in these areas and not
present easy opportunities to criminals.

8. 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. Travelers should avoid
large crowds and demonstrations and take measures to avoid
areas where they are most likely to occur (city centers,
universities, refugee camps), particularly during periods of
increased tension. It is also recommended to maintain a low
profile and not establish predictable patterns of movement,
even if only visiting for a short period. Recent worldwide
announcements continue to alert American travelers that
terrorists do not distinguish
between official and civilian targets. Therefore facilities
where Americans or foreigners are likely to congregate such
as hotels, nightspots, and restaurants should be considered
as potential targets. Travelers should remain in a higher
state of alert when attendance at such locations is
necessary. Taxis are the only form of public transportation
that is recommended.

As Jordan is an Islamic country, cultural sensitivities
should be observed. Female travelers should dress
conservatively and not travel alone, particularly in areas
not as accustomed to western visitors. Incidents of sexual
harassment, assault and unwelcome advances of a sexual nature
against western visitors and residents, although not
frequent, have been reported. These incidents, while
troubling, have not been pervasive.

9. Other:

For further information, see the State Department's Consular
Information Sheet for Jordan at
http://travel.state.gov/jordan.html and link from that site
to the most recent Public Announcement on Travel
in the Middle East and South Asia and the most recent
Worldwide Caution.
GNEHM

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