Jordan Jails Three for Trying to Join Syria Jihadists

Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013 08:00 AM

 

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AMMAN, Jordan — A Jordanian military tribunal jailed on Tuesday three men convicted of trying to join Syria's jihadist al-Nusra Front and fight President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"The state security court today initially sentenced the three to five years in jail each, but immediately halved the prison terms," a court official told AFP. "They attempted in January to infiltrate Syria and join al-Nusra Front."

The official said the men were charged with "carrying out acts that the government does not approve and that would expose Jordan to the risk of aggression, as well as possession of unlicensed firearms."

Al-Nusra, which seeks to establish an Islamic state in Syria, is among the most prominent groups involved in Syria's 26-month conflict, which has killed more than 94,000, according to monitors.

The ruling comes a day after the same court jailed two Jordanians for five years for going to Syria last summer for jihad, a judicial official said.

The two were arrested after they returned to Jordan in August, "pretending that they were Syrian refugees."

In May, the military court handed down similar jail sentences for nine Muslim extremists who wanted to go to Syria.

Jordan, which says it is hosting more than 500,000 refugees from Syria's civil war, has arrested dozens of jihadists as they tried to cross into the war-torn country.

Jordanian Salafists have said there were more than 500 jihadists from the country in Syria.

Amman denies accusations from the Syrian regime that the kingdom has opened up its borders to jihadist fighters.

Jordan generally does not tolerate Salafist groups that espouse an austere form of Sunni Islam.

But slain al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, hailed from the impoverished northern city of Zarqa, considered a stronghold of Muslim extremists.

© AFP 2014

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