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.