IRAQ: DEATH SENTENCE FOR 11 BAGHDAD BOMBERS
January 14, 2010: An Iraqi court sentenced to death 11 men, including Al-Qaeda militants, over devastating truck bombs in Baghdad that killed more than 100 people in August and dealt a harsh blow to the government.
The trial was the first to convict suspects arrested in the wake of three major attacks in the second half of 2009 that saw insurgents defy the war-torn country's fledgling security forces and penetrate the heart of the capital.
"They are sentenced to death for the crime they planned," Ali Abdul Sattar, president of the criminal court, said at a hearing in the Iraqi capital.
The August 19 attacks just minutes apart outside the ministries of finance and foreign affairs caused massive destruction, killed 106 people and wounded around 600 others.
Those convicted included Salim Abed Jassim who confessed that he received funding for the attacks from Brigadier General Nabil Abdul Rahman, a senior army officer during the rule of Saddam Hussein now living in Syria.
Also sentenced to death by hanging were Ishaq Mohammed Abbas, an Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader and his brother Mustapha, the court official told AFP.
Both men had once been detained but were later released from Camp Bucca, a now closed US-run prison in the southern city of Basra.
"These men were the brains behind the attacks in August," a security official involved in an investigation into the August 19 attacks told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"The others bought the explosives and transported them into Baghdad," he added. (Sources: Afp, 14/01/2010)