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Syrian jihadist sentenced to prison for weapons smuggling

By Taylor Luck - May 12,2014 - Last updated at May 12,2014

AMMAN — The State Security Court (SSC) on Monday sentenced a Syrian man to a two-and-a-half year prison term for attempting to smuggle weapons into the country.

Thirty-year-old Ahmad Mahmoud was found guilty of “illegally entering Jordan” and “intent to smuggle weapons” into the country.

According to Islamist sources, Mahmoud was among a known group of smugglers working along the 370-kilometre Jordanian-Syrian border to provide weapons and light military equipment to Islamist militias, namely Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat Al Nusra coalition. 

Monday’s court decision was the latest in a series of prison sentences handed down to jihadists and arms smugglers crossing between the two countries over the past six months.

The decision raised to 42 the total number of suspected jihadists sentenced by the court since late 2013.

More than 2,200 Jordanians are reportedly fighting alongside Islamist militias against Syrian regime forces, the majority of whom are serving under the banner of Al Nusra coalition and its rival, former Al Qaeda affiliate Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

In a separate decision on Monday, the SSC sentenced a 20-year-old Jordanian to two-and-a-half years in prison for “illegally crossing into Syria” and committing “acts unauthorised by the state”.

Defence attorney Mousa Abdullat said the Amman resident had gone to the neighbouring country to fight alongside Al Nusra coalition in southern Syria and was arrested by border guards upon his attempt to return to Jordan in February.

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