Tunisian court convicts 12 on terrorist charges

A Tunisian court convicted 12 men on terrorism-related charges Friday and handed them sentences of up to four years in prison, the men's lawyer said. The men were arrested in January 2006, attorney Samir Ben Amor said. Authorities accused them of planning to travel to neighboring Algeria to join the Islamist insurgent group the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, which changed its name to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb when it announced its alliance with the international terrorist network in January. The men pleaded not guilty, insisting they were not planning to travel and do not even have passports, Ben Amor told The Associated Press. They received sentences ranging from four months to four years under Tunisia's anti-terrorism law, passed in December 2003.