Yemen jails 12 Al-Qaeda members

AFP, Saturday 11 Dec 2010

Twelve men linked to Al-Qaeda were sentenced to jail for 7 years on Saturday in Yemen

A court in Yemen's Hadramaut province sentenced, on Saturday, 12 alleged Al-Qaeda members to between four and seven years in jail, a judicial official said.

Eight defendants were sentenced to seven years in jail, four others to five years, and the other two to four years, the official said.

"You do not judge according to Islamic law. You are unjust," one of the defendants told the judge, according to a witness.

The 12 were charged with forming an armed group, planning attacks and procuring passports with the aim of using them to join Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.

They were accused of sheltering Al-Qaeda militants from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, Yemen's defence ministry's news website said in early October.

The suspects denied the charges, although a number of them acknowledged having travelled to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a judiciary official.

Also on Saturday, a Sanaa appeals court for terrorism cases ruled on seven alleged Al-Qaeda members arrested in October 2009 on charges of keeping a tourist bus under observation and preparing explosives to carry out an attack.

It upheld 10-year jail terms for two of the convicts, seven years for two others and five for a third, while cutting the sentences of a sixth alleged Al-Qaeda member from 10 years to seven and of another from seven years to five.

Yemen has intensified a military campaign against Al-Qaeda's local franchise, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, since it claimed responsibility for a failed bid on December 25, 2009 to blow up a US-bound airliner by a Nigerian allegedly trained in Yemen.


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