* Qaeda plot hatched since June targeted shopping malls and Western diplomats
* Suspects had detonated trial explosives - security sources
Jordan foiled a major plot by an al Qaeda-linked cell to destabilise the key U.S. ally's security by bombing shopping centres and assassinating Western diplomats, state television said on Sunday.
Security forces detained 11 suspects in connection with a plot going on since June to carry out attacks in the capital Amman using smuggled weapons and explosives brought from Syria, according to security officials cited by television.
"Their plans included getting explosives and mortars from Syria," a security source told Reuters.
The attacks, aimed at western and commercial areas, would likely have resulted in the death of thousands, according to Jordanian authorities.
The security source said the suspects had manufactured explosives "aimed at inflicting the heaviest human losses possible."
Jordan is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East and Israel's peace partner. The Arab kingdom has often been targeted by al-Qaeda and other Islamic militants. It regularly arrests terror suspects and puts them on trial.