A militant Islamist has admitted to having been trained by Muslim fundamentalist and alleged terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden to bomb tourist attractions in Jordan last year, the press reported Saturday.
Palestinian Raed Hijazi, who holds dual Jordanian and US citizenship, is being held in Jordan after having been extradited by Syria.
He was convicted in absentia by Jordan's security court in September for plotting to bomb tourist and Christian pilgrimage sites during festivities last December and New Years.
Syrian authorities captured Hijazi on October 1 and deported him to Jordan at the end of November, the paper said.
However, Jordanian officials told AFP Hijazi has been in their custody for almost two months.
Hijazi was among six of the eight defendants sentenced to death in absentia. Another 14 of the 28 defendants were handed sentences ranging between seven-and-a-half and 15 years in prison, while the remaining six were acquitted.
Hijazi told authorities he had been trained for the planned attacks in Afghanistan by Al-Qaeda, or the Base, the secret military network of Osama Bin Laden, al-Rai newspaper said.
The daily said Hijazi confessed to drawing maps of targeted sites and traveling to Iraq to obtain missiles, Kalashnikovs and grenades.
Hijazi was not linked to the bombing of the USS Cole, the US naval destroyer, in Yemen on October 12, the paper said – AMMAN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )