5 Jordanian men plead not guilty to Hamas training

Men allegedly monitored military sites on Israel's borders and Israeli embassy in Jordan.

Hamas gunman 224 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Hamas gunman 224 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Five Jordanian men pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of receiving secret information from the radical Palestinian group Hamas that could jeopardize Jordan's safety. Jordan's military prosecutor said during the trial's opening hearing that Hamas provided the alleged militants with military training in an unnamed neighboring country and tasked them with monitoring military installations and the Israeli Embassy in Jordan. The defendants, two of whom are of Palestinian origin, were identified in the prosecutor's charge sheet as Thabet Abul-Hajj, 37, Salim al-Hosani, 27, Azzam Ahmed Jaber, 36, Mohammed Rabee al-Khojah, 43 and Talib Hassan Abdullah, 46. The men allegedly succeeded in monitoring military sites on Jordan's borders with Israel and Syria and sent the information back to Hamas members, according to the charge sheet. If convicted, the men could be sentenced to up to 15 years in jail. In a separate case, the military prosecutor charged five Jordanians of plotting to carry out terrorist attacks by traveling through Syria to join the insurgency in Iraq. Four of the men were arrested on Jordan's border with Syria, and one remains at large, according to the charge sheet. The prosecution said the men used to meet in a shop in the eastern city of Zarqa to watch videos of suicide attacks in Iraq and listen to speeches by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri. In a third case, the military prosecutor charged five other men, three of whom are still at large, with plotting to carry out attacks that could expose the kingdom to the danger of acts of aggression. The prosecutor did not elaborate on the charge but indicated they planned to carry out suicide attacks against American and Iraqi forces. The five men also planned to travel through Syria to join the insurgency in Iraq.