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Man handed 15 years in jail over terror plot

By Rana Husseini - Sep 11,2019 - Last updated at Sep 11,2019

AMMAN — The Court of Cassation has upheld a July State Security Court ruling sentencing a man to 15 years in prison after convicting him of attempting to join terrorist groups and plotting attacks against security officers in 2017.

The court declared the defendant, who is a supporter of the Daesh extremist group, guilty of threatening to conduct terrorist activities against security officers and manufacturing explosives, and handed him the maximum sentence.

Court papers said the defendant had been a follower of Daesh terror group since 2014 and decided to adopt its ideology.

"The defendant then met another man, who did not appeal his verdict, at a mosque and they decided to spread Daesh ideology because they believed that it applied the correct Sharia [Islamic law]," court transcripts said.

The defendant also decided to target security officers "since they did not abide by the proper Sharia based on the Daesh ideology", court papers said.

"The defendant surfed the Internet and became acquainted with the chemical material used to manufacture explosives and bought it from a local market," court papers said.

The defendant and the other man manufactured a primitive explosive device using the chemical material and it detonated, according to court documents.

However, the two were arrested before being able to carry out any of their alleged plans, the court documents said.

The SSC's attorney general  had asked the higher court to uphold the ruling, stating that the court abided by the proper legal procedures when sentencing the defendant.

Meanwhile, the defendant, through his lawyer, contested the verdict arguing that the "gun and other chemical substance found with him were not dangerous as the SSC prosecution stated during the trial".

The lawyer also argued that the SSC relied on weak evidence and unreliable witnesses when issuing its verdict, according to court documents.

The higher court ruled that the SSC followed the proper procedures when sentencing the defendant and he deserved the verdict he received. 

"An explosive ordnance expert testified that the material found in the possession of the defendant is used to manufacture explosives and it is dangerous," court papers added.

The Court of Cassation judges were Mohammad Ibrahim, Naji Zubi, Yassin Abdullat, Majid Azab and Nayef Samarat.

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