Four Jordanian terrorists born in areas now controlled by the Palestinian Authority are on trial in Jordan for recruiting for the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press. One of the four is Isam Mohammed Taher al-Barqawi, the mentor of Iraqi Al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Al-Barqawi, born in Shechem, is also known as Sheikh Abu-Mohammed al-Maqdisi. He met Zarqawi when the two were held in the same Jordanian prison. Zarqawi later led Al-Qaeda in Iraq until U.S. troops assassinated him in 2006.
Barqawi and the other three defendants are charged with recruiting for a terrorist group and undermining Jordan’s relations with Afghanistan. They could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
Prosecutors say they planned to join the Taliban themselves, but their plan was thwarted when al-Barqawi was arrested in September.
Defendants Iyad Qunnaibi, a professor, and Ayman Ayyoub deny the charges against them. The fourth alleged cell member, Bahabuddin Othman, is being tried in absentia.
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