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Jordan terror suspects sentenced for planning airport attacks

[JURIST] A military court in Jordan [JURIST news archive] handed down sentences Monday for six men charged with planning suicide bombings at Queen Alia International Airport [airport website] in Amman and several hotels frequented by Israelis and Americans. None of the defendants are Jordanian citizens and three were tried in absentia and remain at large. Five of the defendants, including leader Mohammed al-Darsi, were sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor for their involvement in the planned attacks, while the sixth man was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for his conviction on weapons charges. The court found a seventh man not guilty for lack of evidence. According to the indictment, the defendants possessed extremely powerful explosives that they first planned to detonate in hotels hosting tourists, but later planned to use in the Amman airport arrivals terminal.

The men were convicted under Jordan's controversial 2006 anti-terrorism act [JURIST report], which was passed by Jordan's National Assembly [official website] following a series of 2005 deadly hotel bombings in Amman [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Opposition parties have said the law is tantamount to "martial law" [JURIST report], and a top UN official has encouraged the Jordanian authorities to revisit the legislation [JURIST report] to address rights issues. AP has more.

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