Abu Dhabi: Eleven people, convicted of joining Daesh and planning attacks against churches and security officials in Jordan, were jailed for between five and 15 years by a Jordanian court on Wednesday.

Eight defendants, present in court, were sentenced to between five and 15 years, while the trio who travelled to Afghanistan in 2019 to join the Taliban in its fight against US forces, were handed terms of nine years.

The eight had been found guilty on charges including “plotting to carry out terrorist acts” and “attempting to join armed groups and terrorist organisations”.

The trio had stayed in touch with the other eight, who had been arrested ahead of planned attacks in Jordan under the banner of Daesh.

Their targets included security forces and churches in the Mafraq and Zarqa provinces, according to a charge sheet.

Zarqa was home to Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the former leader of Iraq’s Al Qaeda franchise, which was the predecessor to Daesh. Zarqawi was killed by a US air strike in 2006.

All the defendants were suspected of supporting Daesh.

The Jordanian intelligence services discovered the militants’ plans and arrested them in 2019, according to the charge sheet.

Jordan, a member of the US-led coalition against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, has suffered a number of deadly jihadists attacks, including one in December 2016, which left 10 people dead, mostly security officers.