Jordan’s government said Thursday that a pardon by King Abdullah II for six jailed militants linked to Al-Qaeda will not now include a man convicted for his role in the 2002 murder of a U.S. diplomat.
“The council of ministers on Wednesday recommended to the king the exclusion of Mohammad Issa Dumos from the special pardon,” information minister and government spokesman Samih Maaytah said in a statement.
Under the constitution, a special pardon requires government approval.
Dumos was sentenced to 15 years in connection with the assassination of USAID official Laurence Foley, who was shot at close range outside his Amman home.
On Wednesday, a palace statement said “the king has instructed the government to take the necessary legal measures to free six convicts,” naming the men, including Dumos, but without giving further details.
The palace did not elaborate on its reasons for pardoning the prisoners.
“The other convicts will be freed under the special pardon,” Maaytah said, without specifying a date.
The remaining five Salafist jihadists are in jail for plotting to attack former intelligence officers in Jordan, planning jihad against foreign troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and funding terror activities.
Salafists, who espouse an austere form of Sunni Islam, have repeatedly held street demonstrations in Jordan to demand the release of their relatives.