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Prime defendant in 2019 Jerash tourist stabbings sentenced to death

Two co-defendants get 20 and 7-year prison terms

By Rana Husseini - Jan 13,2021 - Last updated at Jan 13,2021

AMMAN — The State Security Court (SSC) on Tuesday sentenced three men to prison terms ranging from death to seven years in connection with the terrorist stabbing attack of several tourists and Jordanians in Jerash in November 2019.

The court declared the defendants guilty of plotting subversive acts in the November 6 incident that left eight people wounded, including four Jordanians, in the ancient Roman city, some 45 kilometres north of Amman.

The three men were also convicted of attempting to join a terrorist group (Daesh) and spreading terrorist ideologies.

The main defendant in the case who carried out the stabbing incident received the death penalty, while a second defendant was sentenced to 20 years for providing the weapons used in the incident.

The second defendant was originally sentenced to death by the SSC for complicity in plotting subversive acts. However, the court decided to immediately reduce his sentence to 20 years in prison to give him “a second chance in life”.

A third defendant received a seven-year prison term for spreading terrorist ideologies by printing pamphlets that supported the Daesh terror group.

The injured tourists in the stabbing incident include three Mexicans and a Swiss national. Meanwhile, the injured Jordanians included two tourist police officers, a tour guide and a bus driver.

The defendants’ court-appointed lawyer Mukhled Dweikat told The Jordan Times that he will appeal the verdicts.

“I will surely appeal the verdicts at the Court of Cassation because the verdicts are harsh since no one died in the attack,” Dweikat said.

Court papers said the three defendants were friends because they lived in the same neighbourhood in Jerash.

“The first and second defendants were influenced by the Daesh terror group and decided to join the group and spread their ideologies,” court documents said.

However, they were unable to join the group and decided instead to carry out attacks inside the country, according to court papers.

“The two plotted for over a month to attack tourists and convinced the third defendant to print pamphlets that glorified Daesh and distributed it in Jerash,” court papers added.

They decided to target tourists in Jerash as it was close to their residence and they could access the area easily, the court papers said.

On the day of the incident, the second defendant provided the first defendant with a knife and an axe to carry out the attack on tourists in Jerash’s Roman ruins.

“The defendants managed to stab four tourists with the knife and the axe,” the court papers said.

A tour guide and a bus driver saw him and ran towards him in an attempt to stop him, so he stabbed them with the sharp objects he was carrying, the court added.

“The defendant attempted to flee but was intercepted by two tourist police officers who were also attacked by him,” the court added.

Several people who were in the area eventually managed to stop him from fleeing and subdued him until the police arrived and he was arrested, the court papers added.

The SSC prosecutor general asked the court to inflict the maximum punishment on the three defendants.

The SCC tribunal comprised military Judges Lt. Col. Muwafaq Masaeed and Major Safwan Zu’ibi.  The civilian judge was Afif Khawaldeh. 

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