In September 2000 the Second Palestinian Intifada erupted, heightening pre-existing tensions over Jordan’s relations with Israel and sparking a campaign of support for the Palestinians that included large and often angry street protests. Although the monarchy was never under threat, security became an overriding concern. In July 2001 the King cancelled elections scheduled for November 2001.
The regime’s illiberal stance was bolstered and extended by the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States by the extremist Islamist al-Qaeda group and President Bush’s resultant launch of his ‘war on terrorism’, beginning with the invasion of Afghanistan; from late 2002, by the impending and then actual US-led invasion of Iraq; by a violent confrontation between Islamists and security forces in the southern town of Maan in late 2002; by the terrorist bombings of three hotels in Amman in November 2005, undertaken by Iraq-based al-Qaeda extremists, in which some 60 people died; and by a general rise in Islamist sentiment amongst Jordanians.
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