AMMAN : AL TAIFA AL MANSOURA
The Jordanian authorities arrested, in 08/2004, a network of 11 suspects related to the Saudi branch of Al Qaeda – Al Haramain Brigades. Other suspects were arrested a month later in 09/2004. The group was spying after luxury hotels in the Capital Amman in order to trace and identify foreigners, especially Americans, who might be intelligence agents, probably in order to commit, in a later stage, attacks on those hotels or specifically against suspect guests of the hotels.
On 09/11/2005, 12 Islamic activists, members of the group, were sentenced in Amman, Jordan’s capital, to jail terms up to 3 years for recruiting volunteers to the war in Iraq against USA. 4 other defendants were acquitted from all charges. The group was led by a Saudi Abed Shehada Al-Tahawi.
* Abed Shehada Al-Tahawi, born in 1955, was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1990 because of his radical Islamic ideology, and moved to Irbid in Northern Jordan. He sent volunteers for military training in Yemen and Iraq. Abed Shehada Al-Tahawi was sentenced to 3 years in jail, while all the others received shorter terms.
The plot was led by Ahmed Shabaneh, 37, who received the longest sentence. Fugitives Ahmad Yassin and Haitham al-Gazzaz were given a 10-year jail term, while the others were jailed for up to seven-and-a-half years.
The court found Ahmed Shabaneh had formed, in 2003, a militant group called the “Al Taifa al Mansoura” Victorious Sect, one of the common names for Al Qaeda affiliated groups in Iraq. Al Taifa al Mansoura is also one of the groups, which claimed responsibility on the DAHAB BOMBINGS in Sinai, Egypt, on 04/24/2006. The group plotted to send militants to join the anti-USA insurgency in Iraq. It also planned to attack US-run training facilities for Iraqi police officers in the Jordanian desert.
The indictment said Ahmed Shabaneh, a Jordanian from Palestinian descent, was influenced by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He distributed leaflets and computer discs bearing quotations of al-Zarqawi at Mosques in Jordan.
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