The public prosecutor of Jordan’s State Security Court (SSC) on April 24 officially charged 146 suspects with plotting to carry out “acts of terrorism” that harmed 83 policemen earlier this month, judicial sources said. The defendants, who belong to Salafist groups, were also accused of “conducting riots and provoking sectarian sedition,” according to the indictment statement. The suspects were arrested last week in the wake of clashes with policemen in the city of Zarqa, 30 kilometres east of Amman, on April 15, when the authorities accused them of launching a “premeditated attack” on security men.
About 300 Salafists then held a rally at a mosque to press for the release of about 200 of their comrades who are serving jail terms after the SSC condemned them of involvement in terror activities. The authorities said that they were launching a manhunt for the arrest of more 100 Salafists who subscribe to the takfir ideology – dubbing other Muslims as atheists.
The SSC public prosecutor went ahead with plans to try the suspects despite the issuance of statements by several Salafist groups condemning all forms of violence in the country.