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Jordan jails five for promoting IS on Internet

AMMAN: A Jordanian court on Monday sentenced five people to jail for being members of the Islamic State group and promoting the jihadist organisation on the Internet.

Two other trials of suspected jihadist supporters, including a man accused of operating as a cook for Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch, also got underway as part as a crackdown on Islamist militants.

The five men were sentenced to terms ranging from three to five years after being found guilty of “promoting… terrorist organisations” — a reference to IS — and of belonging to such groups, the court heard.

One of those convicted, Ahmad Abu Ghalluss, was slapped with three extra months in jail, on top of his five-year sentence, for slamming US President Barack Obama’s war on terror.

“I am with IS and you, enemies of God, are with Obama,” Ghalluss shouted in the courtroom after the ruling was delivered.

Jordan is one of five Arab States supporting US-led air strikes against the jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

Since the start of the campaign at the end of September, Jordan has arrested at least 130 IS sympathisers, lawyer Mussa Abdalat told AFP last week.

Abdalat, who represents jihadist suspects, said most of those behind bars are members of Salafist groups which adhere to a strict Sunni interpretation of Islam.

Jordan, which shares borders with Iraq and Syria where IS has declared an Islamic “caliphate” on territory it controls, has for years struggled with homegrown Islamists.

On Monday the trial began of a man who reportedly left the country “illegally” in July 2013 to join Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, Al-Nusra Front.

The suspect, Hammam Badr, 31, told the judge he was tasked with “cooking for Nusra fighters” but decided to quit and return home just 10 days after joining them “because I did not like the conditions there”.

Another suspect also appeared in court accused of pledging allegiance to IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdad on his Facebook page.-AFP

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