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'Al-Zarqawi' Denies Chemical Bomb Plot

A man identifying himself as Al Qaeda (search) operative Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi (search) said on an audiotape aired Friday that his terror group planned to attack Jordan's secret service building, but it did not have a chemical weapon as Jordanian authorities allege.

Jordanian state television has broadcast confessions by militants allegedly linked to al-Zarqawi in which they say the group was plotting Al Qaeda's first chemical bomb attack. The attack was to have targeted Jordan's secret service building in Amman, the alleged conspirators say.

"The (allegation) that there was a chemical bomb to kill thousands of people is a mere lie," the reported voice of al-Zarqawi says on a tape broadcast via an Islamic site on the Internet.

"God knows, if we did possess (a chemical bomb), we wouldn't hesitate one second to use it to hit Israeli cities such as Eilat and Tel Aviv."

The voice on the tape said the four men shown on Jordanian television had been tortured into confessing. It named Azmi al-Jayousi (search), the alleged leader of the plot, who confessed that he reported to al-Zarqawi.

The speaker confirmed that the group planned to attack the Jordanian intelligence building, saying it housed a "big database used by the enemy of Islam to track down holy warriors."

"Yes, there was a plot to demolish the Jordanian General Intelligence building," the speaker said. "Jordan has turned itself into a hidden base of supplies for the occupying army in Iraq."

The speaker said the General Intelligence building in Amman is the "Arabs' Guantanamo" — a reference to the prison for terror suspects at the U.S. Naval base in Cuba.

The voice could not immediately be authenticated as that of al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian wanted by the United States for allegedly organizing terrorists to fight U.S. troops in Iraq on behalf of Al Qaeda.

Al-Zarqawi reportedly claimed responsibility for last weekend's suicide boat attacks on Iraq's oil terminals in the Persian Gulf. One of the explosions killed three American sailors.

U.S. officials have offered a $10 million reward for al-Zarqawi's capture.

The tape claimed the Jordanian authorities acted "only for the sake of protecting their masters and the leaders of the Jews and Christians."

Jordanian officials say the plot was foiled when security forces arrested six militants in at least two police raids since March. Four other militants died in a shootout with police in Amman last week.

The plotters allegedly planned to strike other buildings in Amman, such as the U.S. Embassy and the prime minister's office.

Jordanians led by Queen Rania (search) held a mass demonstration against the plot Thursday. The marchers carried banners pledging support for Jordan's royal family and chanted slogans against terrorism.

Jordan, a moderate Arab nation that is closely allied to the United States, has a peace treaty with Israel and enjoys relative stability.