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Death sentences upheld for 5 ‘Irbid terror cell’ members

By Rana Husseini - Feb 06,2017 - Last updated at Feb 06,2017

AMMAN — The Court of Cassation on Monday upheld a December State Security Court (SSC) ruling sentencing five defendants in the “Irbid terror cell” case to death, a senior judicial source said.  

The Cassation Court had also upheld SSC’s sentences in the same case on December 28 which saw  15 other suspects imprisoned for between three to 15 years, the judicial source told The Jordan Times.

 The defendants, dubbed in the press as the “Irbid terror cell”, were found guilty by the SSC of committing terrorist acts which led to the death of human beings, committing terrorist acts using automatic weapons, manufacturing explosives with the intention of perpetrating terrorist acts.

They  were also found guilty of  possessing weapons and ammunition to commit acts of terrorism. 
Other charges included plotting to carry out terrorist acts and promoting terrorist ideologies.

The 80-page Cassation Court verdict said that one of the defendants, who was arrested repeatedly in 2000 for his extremist, “takfiri” beliefs, decided to support Daesh in 2013 and started spreading his thoughts in the towns of Irbid, Mafraq and Southern Shuneh.

“The defendant told many of his friends and neighbours that Daesh was a jihadist group that is fighting for a cause and convinced them to spread its ideologies through social media and pamphlets,” the court verdict said.

In 2015, the defendant moved from preaching to actual training, after convincing over 20 people to join him at a 76-dunum rented farm in South Shouneh, according to the court verdict.

“The defendant, who fought with Al Nusra Front fighters in Syria [and later shifted alliance to its rival], trained the defendants on how to use weapons and manufacture explosives at the farm and informed them that they were training to join Daesh and fight in Syria,” the court verdict said.

Some of the defendants, however, were informed that two brothers in Irbid were manufacturing explosives and “decided to join them, so the entire cell moved to Irbid to a rented house”, the verdict continued. 

The defendants planned to target General Intelligence Department (GID), security and military personnel, as well as other prominent state institutions, the court verdict added.

Some of the suspects were arrested in February 2016, and their arrests led to a raid on a building in Irbid on March 2, which left one special anti-terror unit officer and seven suspects dead. 

After the raid, the GID said the seven suspects who were killed in the assault had opened fire at security officers with machine guns and were wearing explosive belts.

The raid, which also saw five officers and two civilians injured, ended with the apprehension of 13 additional suspects. 

Shortly after their arrest, the GID declared that the suspects were Daesh affiliates who were planning to carry out attacks on military and civilian sites in the Kingdom.

The defendants had contested the SSC verdict, claiming that their confessions were extracted under duress.

However, the Cassation Court ruled that the SSC was correct and the punishment they received was appropriate.

Once a death sentence is upheld by the Court of Cassation, the case is sent to the Cabinet for endorsement and a Royal Decree is then issued to approve the execution.

 

The Court of Cassation was comprised of President of the Court of Cassation Judge Hisham Tal and Judges Mohammad Ibrahim, Yassin Abdullat, Mohammad Tarawneh and Bassem Mubeidin, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

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