The southern Jordanian town of Ma'an is quieter these days, and except for a few blue, heavily armored troop carriers and a couple of shot-up villas, there are no signs of the ferocious gun battles that lit this city of 70,000 for eight days last November. That fighting, sparked by a failed police manhunt for an Islamist activist named Mohammed Chalabi, a/k/a Abu Sayyaf, quickly escalated into a siege involving thousands of troops, special forces, heavy guns, and helicopters. Six people were killed, hundreds imprisoned. The government closed the city for a week, in what became the military's largest operation since 1970's Black September offensive... More >>>