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12 Islamists jailed for anti-U.S. plot

AMMAN: Twelve Islamist militants screamed praise for the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks as a Jordanian court jailed them on Sunday for plotting terror strikes against the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Jordan. The convicted defendants, mostly Jordanians or Jordanians of Palestinian descent, were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 1 years to 3 years after being found guilty of conspiring in 2004 to carry out the embassy attacks. The 12 defendants, who did not enter pleas, were also accused of planning to other attacks, including against a hotel popular with Israeli tourists in the northern city of Irbid; the home of a cultural festival director and an American troupe performing at the annual event. Wearing prison uniforms and sporting long beards, the defendants stood behind bars in the courtroom dock to hear the handing down of the guilty verdicts, which can be appealed. Another four defendants were acquitted for insufficient evidence. As the sentences were handed down, the defendants started hailing the fourth anniversary of the Al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington. ``Our brothers have made America cry on this day,'' one of the defendants shouted from the chicken wire-covered cage holding them in the courtroom. ``This verdict will not dissuade us from pursuing the path of jihad (holy war),'' Al-Tahawi shouted after the verdicts and sentences were read out. Al-Tahawi and two others were sentenced to three years behind bars for leading the conspiracy, raising funds, recruiting militants and sending men for training in Yemen and Iraq.

AP

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