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Jordan has dedicated counterterrorism legislation that defines terrorism in broad terms. The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) became law in November 2006, despite concerns domestically and internationally about its scope. It has been used to sanction opponents of the government.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

The 2006 PTA defined terrorism as "any intentional act committed by any means that leads to the death of a person or causes bodily harm or damaging public or private property … with the goal of harming public order and subjecting the peace of society or its security to danger."

Amendments to the law in 2014 granted the State Security Court authority over non-violent offences by defining terrorist acts also as those which disturb "the public order” or “relations with a foreign state”. 

The PTA criminalizes "support through actions or financing of terrorism either directly or indirectly" but does not stipulate that an accused knew or intended that their action or financial contribution would assist terrorism. This raises the possibility that an individual who donates money innocently or otherwise assists what they believe to be a charitable organization, but is actually a ‘'front’' organization assisting terrorism, could be prosecuted under the act. 

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Jordan is a State Party to most of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State not party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party

In adhering to the 1999 Convention, Jordan declared that it "does not consider acts of national armed struggle and fighting foreign occupation in the exercise of people’s right to self-determation as terrorist acts" under Article 2(1)(b). Many States objected to this declaration arguing that it was a prohibited reservation to the treaty.


Jordan is also a State Party to the main regional treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1998 Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
1999 OIC Convention on Combating International Terrorism Status not known

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The death penalty is imposed for terrorist acts leading to the death of any third person.Art. 7, 2006 Prevention of Terrorism Act.Otherwise hard labour for life is the penalty for most terrorist acts.

During 2020, Jordanian authorities took legal action against individuals accused of terrorism under Jordanian law, including rulings on terrorism cases from previous years.  In at least two cases, the government charged journalists under terrorism laws for their reporting but later released them.

Over the years, numerous opponents of the government have been prosecuted under the 2006 Act.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

As Amnesty International reported at the time of its adoption, the PTA empowers the public prosecutor of the State Security Court to order surveillance of a suspect’s home, movements, and means and methods of communications; to ban the individual from travel; to search the place where the suspect is residing and impound any item 'relevant to terrorist activities'; and to confiscate any money connected with planned terrorist activities.


Jordan 2006 Prevention of Terrorism Act (original version)

Jordan 2006 Prevention of Terrorism Act (English translation)