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Jihadist’s sentence commuted after guilty plea

By Taylor Luck - Oct 20,2014 - Last updated at Oct 20,2014

AMMAN — The State Security Court (SSC) on Monday sentenced a citizen to three years in prison for fighting alongside the Syrian Al Qaeda-affiliated militia Jabhat Al Nusra.

In its verdict, the court’s military judges’ panel found Amman resident A.H. guilty of fighting over a year in the ranks of the jihadist militia in Syria.

The SSC decided to commute the sentence to two years with hard labour and a fine after the defendant pleaded guilty to the charges in the last hearing, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

According to the charge sheet, the defendant illegally crossed into Syria from Jordan in May 2013 and joined the ranks of Jabhat Al Nusra and fought alongside “terrorist groups” for over a year. 

In July of this year, A.H., a veteran member of Jordan’s hardline Jihadi Salafist movement, reportedly returned to Jordan and was arrested at his family home in August.

Sources within the Jihadi Salafist movement claim the Amman resident had returned from the Syrian front due to the poor health of his father.

In a separate case, the court moved to reschedule the trial of 12 Jordanians charged with ties to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group to October 27 to hear the prosecution witnesses. 

Authorities have arrested over 100 Jordanians for suspected ties to IS since the US-led coalition’s war against the terrorist group, according to Salafist leaders and judicial sources.

Authorities have referred a total of 20 citizens to the SSC for suspected IS ties, with the remainder of the detainees expected to be charged before the end of the month.

Over 1,200 Jordanians are allegedly fighting alongside IS in Syria and Iraq, local Salafist and Syrian jihadist sources say.

The movement has no official presence in Jordan. 

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