Tigrai Online Jan. 02, 2013
Ten men were found guilty Tuesday by an Ethiopian court of plotting terror attacks with Islamist extremist rebels from neighboring Somalia.
Judge Bahiru Darecha said the group was making plans and getting supplies to attack political and economic targets in Ethiopia. Eleven men were originally charged with the terror-related crimes but the judge acquitted one person. Six of the men found guilty were charged in absentia. Sentencing will be carried out on Jan. 15.
Prosecutors said the suspects, who include one Kenyan national, formed a cell that worked with Somalia's Islamist radicals, al-Shabab. Al-Shabab is affiliated with al-Qaida.
The verdicts come amid signs of increasing militancy in the East African nation. Ethiopian troops moved into Somalia last year to fight al-Shabab.
Among those convicted is a Kenyan national, Hassan Jarso. When first charged in May, Jarso pleaded guilty to the charges but protested the assertion that he is a senior leader of the group.
"We did plan the attacks and to open the (training) camp but none of it was realized," Jarso had told the court.
He added that he was waiting for money from al-Qaida agents to establish the camp and start a militant group, based in Ethiopia's Oromia region.