Husband of UAE's 'Reem Island Ghost' on trial for Daesh support

Published January 25th, 2016 - 04:00 GMT

A man said to have taken an oath of allegiance to Daesh and named the group’s emir in the UAE had his hearing adjourned to February 22 for lawyers to make their case, the Federal Supreme Court heard yesterday (Monday).

A prosecution witness told the court, presided over by judge Mohammad Jarrah Al Tunaiji, M.A.S.H., an Emirati, and his wife had taken an oath of allegiance to Daesh through social media.

“The man was also named Emir of Daesh in the UAE after he took an oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, leader of the terrorist organisation,” the witness said.

M.A.S.H., the husband of an Emirati woman executed for murdering an American teacher, has been charged with joining Daesh and plotting attacks on landmarks in Abu Dhabi.

The man was charged with seven terror-related offences, including planning to bomb a shopping mall and a military site.

The defendant was married to Ala’a Bader Al Hashemi, who was executed in July last year after being convicted of the murder of American schoolteacher Ibolya Ryan, 47, in an Abu Dhabi shopping mall in December 2014.

The man allegedly attempted to join Daesh in Iraq but had instead opted to work in the UAE to support the organisation. He was also accused of planning to assassinate an unspecified leader.

A witness told the court the man used to download videos and pictures from so-called jihadist websites affiliated to Daesh and al-Qaeda. “The man set up a website named ‘the media battalion’ to promote the terrorist ideology of these terrorist organisations and recruit young people for them,” the witness said.

The witness said the defendant’s computers showed he used speeches of Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, two leaders of the terrorist organisation Daesh, to spread the terrorist ideology among youth and recruit them to join the terrorist group,” the witness said.

The witness told the court the man met a terrorist, called Muslih and nicknamed Abu Majid, and handed him Dh1 million to fund al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Another witness said the defendant’s computers included software to log on to sites which teach people how to make bombs, and plans to bomb a shopping mall and a military site and to assassinate a leader.

The suspect earlier denied all charges and alleged he had been held in solitary confinement for six months after being arrested in November 2014.

UAE authorities have enacted tougher anti-terror legislation, including harsher jail terms and even introducing the death penalty for crimes linked to religious hatred and “terrorist groups”.

In another case, the court heard a sound byte of a poem by a man accused of insulting UAE leaders and martyrs in Yemen.

The hearing was adjourned to February 1, when the lawyer will present his arguments.

In a third case, Essam Al Erian, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, charged with insulting UAE leaders, had his hearing adjourned to March 7.

The court ordered the prosecution to communicate summons to Erian with the Egyptian authorities so that the defendant appears in court in the UAE.

In the fourth case, a member of Al Manara organisation charged with smuggling weapons, ammunition and detonators into the UAE to overthrow the government, declare a Daesh-style caliphate in the UAE and attack prominent shopping malls, hotels and night clubs in Dubai, appeared in court yesterday (Monday).

The court adjourned the hearing to January 31 to allow lawyers to present their defence.

By Abdulla Rasheed

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