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Jihadist leader Maqdisi referred to security court

By Taylor Luck - Dec 31,2014 - Last updated at Dec 31,2014

AMMAN — The State Security Court (SSC) is set to try prominent pro-Al Qaeda cleric Abu Mohammad Maqdisi on terror charges less than six months after his release from prison, according to judicial sources.

Court prosecutor Fawaz Otoum completed his investigation in the case of Assem Barqawi, better known as Maqdisi, and has referred his recommendation to the attorney general for indictment. 

In his report, Otoum found “credible evidence” that Maqdisi had “promoted terrorist ideology” through multiple articles published on the jihadist website “Minbar Tawheed and Jihad”. 

According to court sources, the tribunal will go forward with Maqdisi’s trial in January.

The former Al Qaeda spiritual leader recently completed a five-year prison sentence for extending support to the Taliban and other “terrorist organisations” in Afghanistan.

In October, he issued a statement and fatwa urging various jihadist groups to unite in defence of the Islamic State (IS) group against the US-led coalition. 

Authorities arrested Maqdisi and referred his case to the SSC one week later.

The statement marked an ideological reversal for the Jihadi Salafist leader, who represented one of IS’ most vocal critics and on multiple occasions denounced the group as “deviating from Islam”.

Meanwhile, IS hit back at Maqdisi, declaring him as “misleading” and a “danger” to Islam.

In the latest issue of its Dabiq magazine, IS posted a photo of Maqdisi and fellow Jihadi Salafist leader Abu Qatada side-by-side, denouncing the two Jordanians as “misleading scholars”. 

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