Jordan convicts 5 of trying to cross into Syria

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan’s military court has convicted five Jordanians of trying to sneak into neighboring Syria to join rebels seeking to unseat President Bashar Assad.

The court sentenced the men in a brief hearing Monday to five years in jail with hard labor on charges of attempting to illegally cross the border to join a banned group.

Presiding judge Ahmed Qatarneh said the five — in their 20s and 30s — had confessed to planning to join the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra, or Nusra Front.

They were arrested in February 2012 on the Jordanian-Syrian border.

The prosecutor’s indictment said the five were members of the hard-line Salafi Jihadi Movement. The group is banned in Jordan.

Security sources say several hundred Jordanians have joined rebels in Syria.

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