Nine Al Qaeda members, including the group's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, were sentenced to death on Wednesday for plotting to set off a cloud of toxic chemicals in several locations throughout Jordan in 2004. The prosecution told the court that al-Zarqawi forwarded more than $118,000 to purchase two vehicles which the plotters were to use in the attack.
The attacks, aimed at various western and governmental targets, would likely have resulted in the death of thousands, according to Jordanian authorities.
Plans for the attack were discovered ahead of time and the assault was thwarted by security forces.
The Jordanian military court charged four of the men, Zarqawi included, in absentia, according to the AP. Five of the convicted, however, were present in the courtroom, including Azmi Al Jayousi, who masterminded the plot. "Bin-Laden's organization is rising and we will be back!" the defendants shouted after the sentencing, the AP reported.
In addition to the nine men sentenced to death for the planned attack, two men were sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to three years, while two others were acquitted of charges against them.
Wednesday's verdict was Jordan's fourth death sentence handed down against Zarqawi, according to Reuters.
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