Jordan Indicts 8 in Bombings at 3 Hotels
Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab Zarqawi and seven other people were indicted Tuesday in connection with near-simultaneous attacks at three Amman hotels in November.
Among those indicted by Jordan’s military prosecutor was Sajida Rishawi, an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber who fled when her explosives belt failed to detonate. She is the only indictee in custody.
Al Qaeda in Iraq, the militant group led by Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for the Nov. 9 blasts, which killed 60 people.
Zarqawi’s group said it would launch more strikes against Jordan, a U.S. ally that signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. Jordan has been the target of several plots by Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda terrorist network because of its moderate stance and vocal criticism of Islamic extremist groups.
Rishawi, 35, was captured after she fled the Radisson SAS hotel when her husband set off his explosives and hers did not detonate. Four days later, she made televised confessions detailing how she, her husband and the two other Iraqi bombers planned their attacks.
No date has been set for her trial in the State Security Court, which tries cases considered a threat to national security.
The eight suspects face a possible death penalty for charges of conspiring to commit terrorist attacks that led to the death of innocent civilians.
The State Security Court already has sentenced the Jordanian-born Zarqawi to death in absentia three times for his involvement in terrorism plots against the kingdom, including one that led to the killing of U.S. aid official Laurence Foley, who was gunned down outside his Amman home in October 2002.
The same court Tuesday also convicted seven militants in a separate case for sending fighters through Syria to Iraq and plotting to carry out suicide bombings against U.S. and Iraqi forces there.
It was unclear whether the defendants had links to Zarqawi.
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