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Jordan court issues life sentences for al Qaeda chemical bombers

[JURIST] Eight alleged al-Qaeda operatives were given life sentences by a Jordan military court Wednesday as punishment for their roles in a 2004 failed chemical weapons attack [CNN report] on the US Embassy and other sites in Jordan. The plot was allegedly funded by al-Qaeda's top leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [BBC profile], who was killed in a US air strike [BBC report] in 2005. If they had been carried out, the chemical attacks could have killed tens of thousands of people, according to estimates. Prosecutors alleged that the plot was "in an advanced stage" at the point that the men were arrested in 2004. AP has more.

Jordanian courts have repeatedly sentenced al-Zarqawi to death [JURIST report] for his part in the plot, even as a posthumous symbolic gesture. The other eight men were also sentenced to death in a previous trial, but their sentences were later thrown out when it was revealed that the prosecutor had been one of the plot's intended targets.

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