DUBAI (Reuters) - A court in the United Arab Emirates has sentenced 11 people charged with terrorism and raising money for al Qaeda and Islamic State in Syria to life imprisonment, state news agency WAM reported on Sunday.
A total of 41 defendants were charged in October with “possessing firearms and ammunition with the intention of committing terrorist crimes against the country and its security,” according to WAM.
It added that the men also faced prison for “raising funds and financial support to other terrorist groups such as Nusra Front and Daesh in Syria,” using Arabic names which refer to al Qaeda’s branch in the war-torn country and Islamic State.
Twenty three of the remaining 41 defendants were sentenced to between five and 15 years behind bars and the rest were acquitted.
The statement on WAM did not specify the suspects’ nationalities. It said two of those given life terms were sentenced in absentia.
Islamic State has pledged to overthrow the monarchies of the Gulf and mounted a series of attacks on Shi‘ite Muslim mosques and security forces in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Reporting By Noah Browning,; editing by Sami Aboudi and Clelia Oziel