Terrorism

Jordan sentences 3 ISIS members in absentia after travelling to Afghanistan

By Salaam Times and AFP

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A Jordanian policeman stands guard as members of a cell accused of involvement in a 2016 attack go on trial at the State Security Court in the Jordanian capital of Amman on November 13, 2018. The court sentenced 10 people to prison terms in connection with a deadly December 2016 attack claimed by ISIS in Karak. [Khalil Mazraawi/AFP]

AMMAN -- A Jordanian court on Wednesday (January 13) handed heavy prison terms to 11 people convicted of joining the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) and of planning attacks against churches and security personnel in the kingdom.

Three of the defendants were sentenced in absentia after travelling to Afghanistan in 2019 to join ISIS in its fight against US forces and the Taliban.

The three defendants in Afghanistan had stayed in touch with the other eight, who were arrested ahead of planned attacks in Jordan under the banner of ISIS.

The intended targets of the Jordan attacks included security forces and churches in the kingdom's Mafraq and Zarqa provinces, according to a charge sheet.

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Afghan security officials inspect on August 4, 2020 seized weapons near a house, from which a group of ISIS gunmen were firing mortar shells while another group was raiding a prison in Jalalabad. At least 29 were killed when gunmen attacked the jail on August 3. [Noorullah Shirzada/AFP]

Zarqa was home to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant who joined al-Qaeda in 2004 and pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden, later becoming the first emir of al-Qaeda in Iraq -- the predecessor to ISIS.

Al-Zarqawi was killed by a US airstrike in 2006.

The eight defendants present in Jordan's State Security Court (SSC) on Wednesday were sentenced to between five and 15 years, while those who were in Afghanistan were handed terms of nine years.

The eight had been found guilty on charges including "plotting to carry out terrorist acts" and "attempting to join armed groups and terrorist organisations".

All the defendants were suspected of supporting ISIS.

The Jordanian intelligence services discovered the militants' plans and arrested them in 2019, according to the charge sheet.

There is no right of appeal against the decisions of the SSC.

Extremist plots, attacks

Jordan, a member of the international coalition against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, has suffered a number of deadly extremist attacks, including one in December 2016 which left 10 people dead, mostly security personnel.

On Tuesday, the SSC sentenced a man to death for the 2019 stabbing of eight people, four of them foreign tourists, at one of the kingdom's ancient sites.

The victims, who included one Swiss and three Mexican tourists, all survived the November 2019 knife attack in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Jerash.

Mustafa Abu Ruwais, 24, was arrested immediately after the attacks and charged with terrorism offenses in January 2020. He was sentenced to "death by hanging for the terrorist knife attack on tourists", the court said.

The charge sheet alleged Abu Ruwais "follows the ideology" of ISIS, and had been "in contact with one of the members of this organisation in Syria" who gave the green light for the attack.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Tuesday said it had foiled an ISIS plot to assassinate the top US envoy in Kabul.

Afghan intelligence officers dismantled a four-member ISIS cell in Nangarhar Province that had plotted to murder US Charge d'Affaires Ross Wilson, as well as a number of Afghan officials, according to the NDS.

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ISIS is the enemy of humanity and has been created to defame Islam. In the past, thousands of people were converting to the holy religion of Islam every year in different countries, and fanatical infidels feared that all people would become Muslims. So they implemented the ISIS project and attributed all terrorist groups to Islam. While Islam is the religion of peace, the religion of piety, the religion of morality and the religion of forgiveness and self-sacrifice. Now non-Muslims who hear the name of Islam feel fear, but they cannot weaken Islam. By the grace of God, now thousands of people even in Europe and America convert to Islam, and they know that all these rascality and hypocrisy are because of cunning and lying politicians. Islam is a good religion, and it is for all humanity.

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You are precisely correct.

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Long live Islam and down with ISIS and the enemies of Islam.

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Terrorist groups that come to Afghanistan from abroad for carrying out jihad must be decapitated. Why don't they carry out Jihad in their own countries, as they come here and carry out jihad?

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