Jordan jails 6 for plotting to fight Israel during Gaza war
Five suspects arrested in April, May 2009, with the other, still at large, tried in absentia.
Jordan's State Security Court on Tuesday handed down lengthy jail terms to six Jordanians convicted of planning attacks on Israeli troops during their military operation in the Gaza Strip in January 2009, judicial sources said.
Five of the suspects were arrested in April and May 2009, while the other is still at large and was tried in absentia.
Mohammad Jamal Hamdan, who is still at large, was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor.
Osama Abu Kabir, Sakhr Zeidan and Hassan Khalayleh were sentenced to 15 years with hard labour. The court also jailed Walid Abu Ourah and Alauddin Khawaldeh for five years with hard labour.
"All defendants plotted to leave Jordan illegally and join fighters in the Gaza Strip at the beginning of 2009," the indictment said.
On Sunday, extremist web sites released a new video by a Jordanian Al-Qaida operative, responsible for an attack on an U.S. army base in Afghanistan last December which killed 7 CIA agents as well as a Jordanian intelligence officer.
In the video, Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi declared Jihad on Jordan, saying it was cooperating with western intelligence agencies in singling out Al-Quida militants.
Al-Balawi's brother told daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi late last year that his brother had voiced his desire to join Hamas in its fighting against Israel in Gaza in early 2009, adding that his brother, who is a physician, also made numerous attempts to join Jordan's doctor's association as way of reaching the Gaza Strip and aiding the local population.
Family members said Balawi, was a member of a large Bedouin Palestinian clan that settled in Zarqa, a hotbed of Islamic radicalism in Jordan where many dispossessed Palestinians moved after Israel's creation in 1948. He ran a clinic in an impoverished refugee camp, they said.