Five women on trial for terrorism in KSA
The first female defendant was sentenced to 15 years, while the other women were found guilty of luring other women to join the group. (Photo for illustrative purposes only: AFP/File Archive).
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The women, whose arrest prompted Al-Qaeda to kidnap Abdullah Al-Khaldi, a Saudi diplomat posted in Yemen, in 2012, had been accused of accepting support and guidance from leaders and members of the organization operating in both Yemen and Afghanistan.
These groups were planning to smuggle the women outside the Kingdom, but security forces had foiled their plans. The Saudi embassy in Yemen had received a call at the time from Mishal Al-Shodokhi, the group representative, demanding that the five women be released in exchange for the Saudi diplomat who was being held hostage.
The first defendant, currently in prison, was sentenced to 15 years, while the other women were found guilty of luring other women to join the group.
One of the defendants had planned to send her 12-year-old son to fight in Afghanistan after sending her 12-year-old daughter to be married off to an Al-Qaeda member. The woman was also accused of financing several terrorist operations. Other defendants were also found guilty of plotting to send their sons off to execute suicide operations within the Kingdom.
The leader of the group is facing several charges, including joining Al-Qaeda and inciting dissidence, as well as planning to send her sons to blow themselves up at the Interior Ministry. The second defendant, who had managed to escape to Yemen while on trial, was charged with financing the group. She is accused of joining Al-Qaeda based on evidence found on her computer, including documents that encourage citizens to fight against the state.
The defendant has also been charged with inciting dissidence and hatred by holding demos and marches led by long-time dissident Saad Al-Faqih. The third woman is accused primarily of inciting dissidence.
The fourth woman, dubbed “Alsheikha” for reportedly being the most hard-liner of the lot, also had inflammatory material on her computer, while the fifth defendant, who is Yemeni, is also accused of inciting dissidence and training her son on how to use a Kalashnikov rifle and revolver, in addition to financing terror.
The Yemeni woman had entered into the Kingdom illegally twice and had covered for meetings between her husband, currently in prison, and armed suspects.
The defendant is also accused of forgery and impersonating her sister-in-law.