Photo credit: McGuinness
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Sept 18, 2011 (Agencies): Saudi Arabia’s state news agency says 41 suspected members of al-Qaeda have gone on trial, accused of planning attacks on US forces in Kuwait and Qatar.
A court in Riyadh is hearing the case.
The SPA news agency said Sunday some of the defendants were charged with recruiting and sending militants to fight in Iraq and sending money to Taleban fighters.
It did not say when they were arrested.
The report said one Qatari, one Yemeni and an Afghan national are among the accused while the other 38 are Saudis.
In June, the kingdom started trying 85 suspected al-Qaeda members accused of taking part in a deadly 2003 attack inside the country.
Saudi authorities did not say then why it took eight years to being that trial.
Meanwhile, an alleged al-Qaeda member who is one of 47 on an Interpol wanted list has said he will turn himself in, the Saudi interior ministry said on Sunday.
“The wanted man Mujab Mohammed Jamal al-Qahtani has called his family telling them of his decision and asking them for help to return home and hand himself over,” said a ministry spokesman in comments carried by state news agency SPA.
“Security services have arranged for his arrival and for reuniting him with his family upon his return,” the spokesman said in the statement, which gave no details on Qahtani’s current whereabouts or when he will return.
He will be dealt with “according to the procedures followed in similar cases, and his initiative will be taken into consideration when looking into his case,” the spokesman said.
In August, a similar ministry announcement said a man on the same “wanted” list had also surrendered to Saudi authorities.
International police agency Interpol issued a worldwide alert in January for 47 Saudis with suspected links to al-Qaeda wanted on terrorism charges.
The suspects posed “a potentially serious public threat at home and abroad due to their suspected involvement with al-Qaeda,” Interpol said at the time, citing the Saudi interior ministry.
Saudi authorities are hunting for dozens of the ultra-conservative kingdom’s citizens who have joined al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen.
Saudi and Yemeni al-Qaeda branches merged in January 2009 to form AQAP, posing a serious threat to US interests across the region.
Arab Times Link