AMMAN, Jordan – Eleven top Jordanian officials, including the kingdom's national security adviser, resigned Tuesday in the wake of last week's triple hotel bombings, state-run TV announced.
Jordan also introduced strict security measures aimed at foreigners and said it was drafting the country's first anti-terrorism legislation to prevent more such attacks.
King Abdullah II appointed Marouf al-Bakhit, Amman's ambassador to Israel, to replace outgoing security chief Saad Kheir, a former head of Jordan's intelligence department.
No details were given for the resignation of Kheir and 10 others, including prominent religious advisers to Abdullah, but a limited shake-up had been expected.
The moves came as more details emerged about the 35-year-old Iraqi woman who failed in her bid to blow herself up in an Amman hotel, with friends saying she had three brothers killed by U.S. forces.
The U.S. Embassy also said four Americans were among those killed in the attacks, raising the U.S. toll from three.
In a bid to keep foreign militants from operating covertly in Jordan, Interior Minister Awni Yirfas announced new regulations demanding that all Jordanians notify authorities within 48 hours of any foreigners renting an apartment or house.
"Violators of this regulation will face legal ramifications," Yirfas said without elaborating.
Authorities will demand that Jordanians provide the names, nationalities and passport details of any foreigner renting a property.
Jordan also has begun drafting tough new anti-terrorism laws that will likely be ready for parliament debate early next year, a top Interior Ministry official said.
The laws propose allowing any suspect to be held for questioning indefinitely and imposing penalties on "those who would expose the lives and properties of citizens to danger inside and outside the country," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Anyone condoning or justifying terrorist actions or supporting them financially will face penalties under the proposed laws, he added.
Ad-Dustour, Jordan's second-largest daily, also said the legislation was being drafted, citing the interior minister.
Jordanian security forces already wield far-reaching powers to arrest and hold suspects, but the proposed laws would be the country's first specifically designed to counter terrorism.
Jordan's stepped-up security posture follows the Nov. 9 bombings of the Radisson SAS, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels in Amman by a team of Iraqis. The attackers included three men who blew themselves up -- and killed 57 others -- and one of the men's wives, who claims her explosives-packed belt malfunctioned.
Jordanian authorities said the captured bomber, Sajida Mubarak al-Rishawi, who comes from the Iraqi city of Ramadi in volatile Anbar province, was the sister of a slain lieutenant of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
But two of her friends told The Associated Press that three of her brothers were killed by U.S. forces, including known Al Qaeda in Iraq cell leader Thamir al-Rishawi, who died during the April 2004 U.S. operations in Fallujah when an air-to-ground missile hit his pickup.
Two other brothers, Ammar and Yassir, were killed in separate attacks against U.S. troops in Ramadi, said the friends, who declined to be identified further because they feared retribution from insurgents.
A security official, meanwhile, said lights in sections of both the Radisson and Hyatt hotels went out just before the near-simultaneous blasts in apparently coordinated fashion.
A DJ at the Radisson, where a Jordanian-Palestinian wedding reception was bombed, also recalled how the ballroom where the party was being held mysteriously went dark.
"The lights at the wedding hall went off seconds, maybe just one second, before the blast, although there was electricity outside the room in the corridor, the nearby lobby area and the reception," Fadi al-Kessi told AP.
"For some reason, I looked to my right in the darkness and saw what looked liked lightning, then there was a loud boom. It felt like the explosion came from the ceiling, then people started running out."
Separately, U.S. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte arrived in Jordan on Tuesday for talks with the foreign minister, the state-run Petra news agency reported without providing further details. The U.S. Embassy declined to comment on Negroponte's visit.
Two forensic crime experts from Interpol also arrived in Amman to "exchange information and expertise (with Jordanian counterparts) in the field of fighting crime," Petra said.
Police arrested al-Rishawi Sunday in a safe house in western Amman after the Al Qaeda in Iraq terror group, headed by Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi, issued an Internet statement saying a woman was among the four Iraqi attackers.
Al-Rishawi revealed no motive in a televised confession for trying to bomb the Radisson, saying only that her husband brought her to Jordan from Iraq and fitted her with an explosives belt for use in the attack.
Jordanian intelligence officials say their interrogation of al-Rishawi, which could last for about a month before she is eventually charged, has been going slowly.
She could face the death penalty, security officials have said.
Her husband, identified as Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, detonated his bomb and killed more than 20 people attending a Jordanian-Palestinian wedding reception at the Radisson.
Police believe al-Rishawi may provide vital clues to Al Qaeda in Iraq and possibly al-Zarqawi's whereabouts. Authorities believe more people helped arrange the attacks, but it was unclear if they were among 12 suspects under arrest.
Jordan identified the two other Iraqi suicide bombers as Safaa Mohammed Ali and Rawad Jassem Mohammed, both 23.
A U.S. Embassy official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with embassy protocol, said the mission learned Tuesday of a fourth American's death from the attacks. The embassy wasn't previously aware of the individual's presence in Jordan, the official said, and no details were available on the American's identity or time of death.
Syrian-American filmmaker Mustapha Akkad, 75, and his daughter Rima, 34 were among the victims. The other American killed also has not been identified.