DUBAI (Reuters) - Four citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and one from the Comoros have gone on trial charged with trying to build a bomb in the Gulf Arab state, newspapers reported on Tuesday.
The five are among 15 accused of membership of al Qaeda’s Nusrah Front Syrian wing and another militant Syrian opposition group, Ahrar al-Sham, and of collecting funds for these groups, the newspapers reported.
The 15 on trial at the state security division of the federal supreme court are made up of nine Emiratis, four from the Comoros islands off east Africa and two Syrians, the newspapers reported.
Four Emiratis are being tried in their absence. All 11 who appeared in court denied the charges, the newspapers said. A defense lawyer asked for four witnesses to be called to give evidence, The National newspaper reported.
The National reported without elaborating that the explosive device allegedly assembled by the five accused had leaked toxic chemical fumes that affected nearby residents.
The newspapers reported prosecutors as saying the accused had traveled to Syria to make contact with armed groups, and had collected money, devices and equipment for use in attacks on civilians in Syria.
Judge Mohammed Al Jarah Al Tenaiji agreed, and adjourned the trial to September 23.
Reporting by William Maclean