The Saudi media are covering two terrorism-related trials. The newest is a case against 41 men of predominantly Saudi nationality on a variety of charges. The one that leaps out at me is that several are being charged with going to Iraq to take part in anti-US activities. This runs rather counter to the claim by some that the Saudi government was encouraging people to go to Iraq to fight.

41 go on trial for plotting attack on US forces in Qatar
MUHAMMAD AL-SULAMI | ARAB NEWS

JEDDAH: A panel of three judges at a special summary court began Saturday hearing a case against 41 people accused of plotting to carry out terrorist attacks against US forces in Qatar and Kuwait. They are accused of targeting Al-Siliya military base in Qatar.

The defendants, all in their 20s, included 38 Saudis and one each from Qatar, Yemen and Afghanistan. Nine of them stood in the dock Saturday.

The defendants were accused of forming a cell in Saudi Arabia to plan terrorist operations against American forces in Qatar and Kuwait, finance the current fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, recruit people for Al-Qaeda in Iraq and establish border passes to smuggle arms, funds and fighters to Iraq.

A second case involves the first Saudi woman to face terrorism charges. She is alleged to have provided both financial and material support for Al-Qaeda, recruited young women into the group, and providing safe haven for terrorists. While she had confessed to these crimes, she has now taken back her confession. The trial continues…

‘Lady Al-Qaeda’ retracts confession
MD AL-SULAMI | ARAB NEWS

JEDDAH: A Saudi woman dubbed “Lady Al-Qaeda” has retracted an earlier statement in which she confessed to various terrorist charges against her at a special summary court.

Thirty-seven-year-old Haila Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Qaseer officially replied to the list of 18 charges against her prepared by the Prosecution and Investigation Commission (PIC).

She read out her replies written on a paper signed by her and her two lawyers, both related to Al-Qaseer.

The judge asked the defendant, the first Saudi woman to be tried on terrorist charges, to make sure that it was the same reply handed over to the court a few days back and to sign it before attaching it to the court papers.


September:18:2011 - 08:00 | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink
3 Responses to “Saudi Terror Trials”
  1. 1
    Dakota Said:
    September:18:2011 - 17:02 

    This runs rather counter to the claim by some that the Saudi government was encouraging people to go to Iraq to fight.

    Would it really be so unusual in this Magical Kingdom for someone to say one thing one day and another thing another day?

    Reminds me of Jordan’s King Hussein in, I think it was the first gulf war. He followed the Arab street, yes, he was probably not strong enough politically to do otherwise, but when the festivities were over claimed to have supported the West. In the meantime, the sweetheart oil deal with Iraq continued.

  2. 2
    Dakota Said:
    September:18:2011 - 17:08 

    Two things jump out at me here:

    her authenticated confessions that she later denied, claiming they were extracted from her under duress
    Does anyone really know what goes on in Saudi jails? Maybe the same as in Jordanian jails?

    adopting deviant thoughts,
    planning to travel to violent spots without the permission of the ruler and in contravention of official fatwas (religious rulings)
    You have to wonder if these are religious charges or civilian charges. Moslems can be charged under a stricter “sharia law” no?

  3. 3
    John Burgess Said:
    September:18:2011 - 23:34 

    I think Saudi Arabia is the epitome of non-clarity when it comes to laws. The basic law (akin to the constitution) is Shariah, so sins can be crimes and crimes can be sins. As the courts are mostly religious courts, they tend to have the first shot at miscreants, unless there’s clearly established alternatives as for labor law.

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