Jordan court charges five with ‘terrorism’ after deadly raid

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Five suspected extremists arrested during a deadly raid in a town northwest of Amman were charged with terrorism offenses in Jordan’s state security court on Wednesday.

Three alleged extremists were killed and five others detained on Saturday when security forces raided a building in the town of Salt.

The operation, which also left four members of Jordan’s security forces dead, was linked to a bomb blast Friday that killed a policeman and wounded six others at a music festival in a nearby town.

The court’s prosecutor accused the five detainees of “carrying out acts of terrorism that led to the death of a person and the demolition of a building” and “conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts”.

It also charged them with the “possession and manufacturing of explosives for use in illegal activities” and the “possession of weapons and ammunition for use in illegal activities”.

Under the 2006 Prevention of Terrorism Act, the charges are punishable by hanging.

Interior Minister Samir Mubaideen said Monday that the extremists supported the ISIS and “followed its takfiri ideology”.

The militants were holed up in an apartment in a four-storey residential block in Salt. They blew up the apartment as security forces encircled them and exchanged heavy fire.

Medical sources said 10 people were wounded in the raid, including members of the security forces and residents of the building used as a hideout.

Jordan, a small desert kingdom, has been the target of several extremist attacks. A shooting rampage in 2016 claimed by ISIS killed 10 people including a Canadian tourist in Karak, known for its Crusader castle.

A close ally of Washington, Jordan has played a key role in the US-led coalition fighting ISIS in neighboring Syria and Iraq, using its air force against the extremists and allowing coalition forces to use its bases.

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