Saudi tries 11 Al-Qaeda suspects over killing of Westerners

AFP , Monday 16 May 2011

Suspects to be tried for killings which took place in 2004

The trial of 11 Saudi Al-Qaeda suspects accused of killing six Westerners and a Saudi policeman in the Red Sea city of Yanbu in May 2004, opened in the capital Riyadh on Monday.

Prosecutors demanded the death penalty for the defendants, who are charged with gunning down two Americans, two Britons, an Australian and a Canadian, as well as a Saudi in the attack on a US company in the northwestern port town.

They were also accused of possessing weapons, money laundering and inciting unrest, according to the chargesheet read out in court.
Seven of the defendants are brothers.

In April, the kingdom's prosecutor announced that a total of 5,080 "terror" suspects are being tried or have already been sentenced in Saudi Arabia, which battled a wave of Al-Qaeda attacks in 2003-2006.

Several Al-Qaeda militants who escaped the Saudi crackdown on the jihadist network, fled to neighbouring Yemen where they joined ranks with their Yemeni comrades under the banner of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

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