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Jordanian Military Court Acquits Radical Muslim Preacher of Terrorism Charges

Radical al-Qaida-linked preacher Abu Qatada reads behind bars prior to his verdict at the Jordanian military court in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. The judge in the trial of a radical Jordanian cleric accused of a 2000 plot to attack Israelis, Americans and other Westerners has delayed issuing his verdict pending further examination of the case. A decision on the charges against Abu Qatada was expected Sunday, but the judge said it will now be issued Sept. 24. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon) AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A Jordanian military court has acquitted radical Muslim preacher Abu Qatada on terrorism charges for his role in plotting attacks against Americans and Israelis.

The decision was handed down in the case presided over by civilian judges on Wednesday in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

Radical al-Qaida-linked preacher Abu Qatada reads behind bars prior to his verdict at the Jordanian military court in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014.  (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

The court ruled there was insufficient evidence against Abu Qatada and his defense lawyer, Husein Mubaidin, says he expects his client to be released within hours.

Abu Qatada was charged with involvement in plans to target Israeli and American tourists and Western diplomats in Jordan in 2000 — the so-called "millennium plot."

Separately, the 53-year-old preacher was acquitted in June in another case, a foiled 1999 plan to attack an American school in Amman.

He had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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