Jordanian jailed over IS plot to attack coalition air base

AMMAN, Jordan — An Amman court jailed a Jordanian man for 10 years Wednesday for plotting attacks on behalf of the Islamic State group against an air base used by the coalition fighting the jihadists.

The state security court found the 52-year-old guilty of “conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts,” an AFP correspondent at the courthouse said.

The man — whose name was not released by officials — was arrested in November 2016 as he plotted to attack the sprawling Muwaffaq Salti air base in the country’s eastern desert, the staging point for aerial sorties by the US-led coalition fighting IS in Iraq and Syria, the court said.

It said the man had been in contact with IS operatives in Raqa, the group’s former Syria stronghold, who asked him to “carry out military operations targeting officers and members of the Jordanian military intelligence services.”

He had also been told to monitor the base and had passed intelligence to IS on its layout and how it was guarded.

Since IS took over swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014, Jordan, a key US ally, has used its own air force and allowed US-led coalition forces to use its bases.

A string of defeats at the hands of coalition-backed campaigns in Syria and Iraq as well as a Russian-backed assault by Syrian government forces have brought the jihadist group’s “caliphate” to the edge of collapse.

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