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Sunday, May 9, 2021

After ISIS Attack, Jordan’s Idriss Zaki Had Come to Me

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Rumours were rumbling for days. Memories were cruelly sliced open. Old friends were lumped in with new friends.

He had grown into a respected army general, a fixture in Washington’s defense circles, while children grew into adulthood and had sons of their own. But his fate had been sealed by a cruel course of misfortune. Idriss’s father, a renowned famous sheikh, had been killed in a truck bombing by jihadists in 1970. Three of his brothers died in the fighting that followed. His mother and three older sisters died in the 1980s. One of his wives, often known as the Queen of Chad, became a political refugee.

His brother, who was the father of Faïs…

Yesterday, Idriss died in Addis Ababa, his supporters say. They say he passed away at the age of 68 while undergoing urgent treatment at the Ethiopian capital’s St. Augustine Medical Center. They say he had been suffering from a kidney infection for several months. Though he never formally declared he was incapacitated, his health was clearly ailing, his biographers say. He had to have been seen by a doctor in Amman to treat his kidney problems, according to Abdelmoumane, one of his biographers.

“I had him for breakfast in January,” Abdelmoumane says. “I gave him two white bread, a whole slice of orange juice, some honey, some tuna fish and cheese. He drank it. He was not drunk or drunk. That was his lunch. I gave him the same, so far no questions or anything — he was in very good health.”

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