U.S. Investigates Deaths of 3 Soldiers in Jordan as Possible Act of Terrorism

The remains of Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty were carried by an Army team at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware last week

American officials said Wednesday that they were investigating the killing of three United States soldiers at a Jordanian air base
this month as a possible terrorist attack and dismissed suggestions that the three had done anything to provoke the shooting.

The Nov. 4 shooting has been shrouded in secrecy as American and Jordanian officials investigate it, a sign of the sensitivity surrounding the episode. But the Americans evidently became irritated at reports that seemed to place at least some blame on the soldiers.
The three soldiers, all with the Special Forces, were in Jordan on a training mission and were returning to the air base in the southern desert when a Jordanian soldier fired on them. The Jordanian soldier was wounded in what was described as an exchange of fire and is in custody.
Jordanian officials initially said the American soldiers failed to heed orders to stop as they approached the base gate. A subsequent report in The Washington Post, citing Jordanian accounts, said the episode began with the accidental discharge of a weapon inside one of the vehicles carrying the Americans, who it said were part of a C.I.A. program to train Syrian rebels.
While American military officials confirmed that the soldiers were part of the C.I.A. program — though a C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment on the episode — the report angered the American side, which saw it as an attempt by Jordan’s government to shift blame.
Several American military officials said the only real question about what happened was the motive of the gunman.
Initial classified assessments of the shooting could be seen to support either the idea that the gunman was a jihadist or that it was an accident, according to the military officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a continuing investigation.

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