UAE tries 15 seeking to join, aid Syria Takfiri militants

UAE tries 15 seeking to join, aid Syria Takfiri militants
Mon Sep 8, 2014 19:37:41

The trial began in the UAE on Monday of 15 militants charged with joining and financing Syria's Al-Qaeda franchise and a militant group there, the official WAM news agency said.

Eleven of the defendants, whose nationalities were not disclosed, appeared at a first hearing before the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi, WAM said.

It was unclear why the remaining four were not in court.

The 15 are accused of "joining and collecting funds for two terrorist groups abroad -- Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham" which are fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Al-Nusra is Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, while Ahrar al-Sham is a powerful militant group.

The defendants are also charged with manufacturing explosives, WAM reported.

One is accused of possessing a firearm without a permit, while another allegedly "supervised and administrated a website that disseminates information on Al-Qaeda and spreads its ideology".

The next hearing will be on September 23, it added.

The United Arab Emirates has not experienced the widespread protests that have swept other Arab states since 2011.

Authorities in the Persian Gulf country have mainly targeted Takfiri militants with alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood or Al-Qaeda.

On June 23, the same top court jailed six Arabs for seven years after convicting them of forming an Al-Qaeda cell and raising funds for Al-Nusra Front.


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