Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat- A military court in the Jordanian capital found 12 Jordanian men guilty of conspiring to carry out terrorist acts and sentenced them to between 18 months and three years in prison. Four other suspects were cleared of any wrongdoing.
Abd Shehadah Hamid al Tahawi who headed the terrorist cell was sentenced to three years behind bars whilst the 11 other men each received 18 months. They are: Ahmad al Amer, Ahmad Karani, Muhannad al Bash, Saber Dbayj, Mohammad Shaalan, Imad Eddin Ali, Ahmad Jaradat, Hussein Sobh, Mohammad al Monasra, Mohammad al Hawarani, and Khaled Bashtawi.
The sentencing followed confirmation the men planned on attacking the US and Israeli embassies in the Jordanian capital and targeting the homes of the Israeli ambassador and Jews living in al Husn industrial city. The suspects also obtained weapons to this end.
Entering the suspects” cage in the courtroom, the men shouted religion slogans. In allusion to the attacks of September 11, Al Tahawi said, “This court is in session four years after the US was hurt and witnessed the vengeance of the mujahedeen. We call on God to preserve our leaders Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and Ayman al Zawahiri, and our sheikh, Abu Musab al Zarqawi.”
He added, “We call on God to bring victory to the mujahedeen in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, the Arabian Peninsula, Jordan, Chechnya, and Syria. We are not afraid of being tried and do not fear the armies of America; we will continue on attacking them.”
Attacking the jury at the trial, the convicted terrorist said, “The charges were prefabricated under the cover of darkness, according to US and Israeli wishes. These so called terrorist trials are a sham and illegal.”
The four suspects found innocent are Mohammad Hamad, Abdullah al Maani, Abdullah al Shamri and Ahamd Fayiz al Debk.
Jordanian security forces had arrested 16 suspects in August lead by al Tahawi who according to reports, adopted extremist ideologies during his stay in Saudi Arabia, between 1979 and 1990, during which he traveled to Afghanistan and underwent military training. He was caught in the Kingdom in 1990 and forcibly returned to Jordan.