May 9, 2016 / 11:54 AM / 2 years ago

UAE court sentences husband of executed woman to life in prison: newspaper

DUBAI (Reuters) - The husband of a woman who was executed for killing a U.S. kindergarten teacher in the United Arab Emirates was himself jailed for life on Monday for plotting Islamist militant attacks, a government-linked daily said on Monday.

Attacks on Westerners are rare in the UAE, an oil exporter and tourism hub, but concern has risen after a spate of Islamist violence in other wealthy, U.S.-allied Gulf kingdoms including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Ala’a Badr Abdullah al-Hashemi, 31, fatally stabbed the teacher in the toilet of an Abu Dhabi shopping mall in December 2014. She was executed - by firing squad, UAE media said - last July after a trial in which she was also convicted of planting a bomb outside the home of an American-Egyptian doctor.

Her husband - identified by Emirati media by his initials M.A.H. - was charged in December with planning attacks on tourist buses and an American military base.

M.A.H., 34 at the time of his arrest, was accused of seeking to join Islamic State and giving money to a member of al Qaeda. The Federal Supreme Court heard that he also plotted to bomb the Yas Marina Formula 1 race track and an IKEA furniture store, according to the English-language daily The National.

The accused denied all charges and said he has been held in solitary confinement for six months and refused family visits, English language daily The National said.

The UAE has joined air strikes in Syria against Islamic State, an ultra-hardline militant group that has called on Muslims in Gulf countries to target Western expatriates in retaliation for attacks against it.

Reporting By Noah Browning and Hadeel al-Sayegh; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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