Meanwhile, American analysts continue to insist that the protesters are largely secular. “Jordan releases 4 jailed members of radical Islamist group in effort to stave off protests,” by Jamal Halaby for The Associated Press, April 12:
AMMAN, Jordan “” Jordan has released four jailed members of a radical Islamist group that had threatened to stage a mass demonstration over their detentions, the group’s leader said Tuesday.
Abed Shihadeh al-Tahawi said the four were released late Monday under a deal between the security forces and his ultraconservative Salafi group, which is banned in Jordan.
“We warned that we will hold a large demonstration today, which was seen as a security risk for the government,” al-Tahawi said. “The government knows that we mean business and that we do not get intimidated by security forces.”
Al-Tahawi himself has recently served a prison term for plotting terrorist strikes against the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Jordan in 2004….
Al-Tahawi said security officials got in touch with him and other group members on Monday “to persuade us not to hold our protest.”
He said the rally was meant to publicly articulate his group’s demand for the release of its four followers, who were arrested in an anti-government rally last week.
“When our four brothers were released, we cancelled the planned protest,” he said.
But he insisted the group will continue staging demonstrations to press its demand for the release of 300 other Salafis serving prison terms for plotting al-Qaida–linked terror attacks in Jordan….