Court sentences 15 for supporting Terrorism
Riyadh: A specialized criminal court in Riyadh, recently has sentenced 15 of 30 defendants, of whom 14 Saudis and a Jordanian, from 11 months to 16 years in prison for supporting terrorism and terror organizations and propagating “takfiri” ideology (branding opponents infidels).
The defendants were also charged of being in possession of documents related to making bombs and explosives, an official statement said, adding that they had facilitated the travel of young Saudis to fight in crisis-hit countries.
One of the defendants was handed 16 years, including four years based on Article 34 of the weapons law, and six years, based on the law for combating money laundering. He was also fined SR30,000 based on the publication law. The court sentenced 13 men to up to 14 years in prison for security offenses, including material support to wanted Islamist militants, aiding terrorism and helping young men go to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan to fight.
The Kingdom has sentenced hundreds of its citizens to prison terms for similar offenses over the past decade since Al-Qaeda waged a campaign of attacks from 2003-06 inside the country, killing hundreds of people.
The growing role of Saudi militants in Syria has raised fears about a new wave of radicalism in the country and the government has issued stern new penalties for fighting abroad or supporting extremist groups.
The 13 sentenced between three and 14 years in prison were nine Saudi citizens, two Jordanians, an Egyptian and a Syrian. They were convicted of owning material that glorified Al-Qaeda, money laundering and of involvement in weapons training in militant camps. Earlier this month, the government issued a list of groups it described as terrorist or extremist, including Al-Qaeda affiliates in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Houthi rebels in Yemen.
A new government decree said moral or material support for such groups would incur prison terms of five to 30 years, while traveling overseas to fight would be punishable by sentences of three to 20 years.