Jordan opens US-funded counter-terrorism training centre
Jordan on Thursday opened a US-funded counter-terrorism centre where law enforcement officers from partner countries in the Middle East and beyond can practice shooting, storming hideouts and responding to bomb threats.
The Jordan Gendarmerie Training Academy is the second such facility in the pro-Western kingdom.
Paul Davies, director for the State Department's Office of Anti-Terrorism Assistance, says that additional training centres are to be built, including in Senegal and Kenya.
He says 21 partner nations out of a pool of 56 have trained so far in Jordan's first facility.
Earlier this week, Tunisian police officers practiced storming rooms in a "shoot house" in the new centre.
They threw sound grenades, setting off loud booms, as visitors watched the drills from a gallery above.
In recent years, Jordan has upgraded its fight against militants and criminals, in large part with US backing, setting up a national emergency call centre, a network of street surveillance cameras and databases for DNA, ballistics and fingerprints.
Jordan's importance to Washington was apparent last month when the kingdom was promised $1.275 billion a year in US economic and military aid through 2022, an increase of 27 percent.
Jordan faces domestic and external threats from extremists, even though once powerful Islamic State militants have largely been defeated in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.