Saudi court jails 'Al-Qaeda lady' for 15 years: state media

AFP , Saturday 29 Oct 2011

Saudi woman was jailed for 15 years for involving in terrorism activities and sheltering people wanted for security related matters and inciting terror acts in the kingdom

A Saudi court on Saturday jailed for 15 years a Saudi woman known as "Al-Qaeda lady" for being the first woman in the kingdom tried for involvement in violence by the jihadist network, state media said.

"A Saudi woman was sentenced to 15 years in jail starting on the date of her arrest, followed by 15 years of a ban on travelling after her release," SPA state news agency reported.

The trial of the unnamed woman began on July 31.

The list of charges over which the specialised criminal court convicted her included "sheltering people wanted for security related matters and inciting terror acts in the kingdom," SPA said.

She was also condemned for "possessing two pistols" that she gave to militants and "financing terrorism and terror acts through collecting more than one million riyals ($267,000) and sending the money to Al-Qaeda organisation."

In August, Okaz daily identified the woman only as the "Al-Qaeda lady," saying she was 45 years old and was arrested last year in Buraidah, Qassim's provincial capital.

In June 2010, Saeed al-Shihri, a prominent Saudi leader of Al-Qaeda's franchise in Yemen, urged supporters in Saudi Arabia to kidnap Christians and Saudi princes to press for the release of a female militant nabbed north of Riyadh whom he identified as Heila al-Qsayer.

At her family's request, the trial is taking place in private and without media presence.

The woman had denied the charges, claiming she had been held captive by two men to whom she had been married in the past and who were members of Al-Qaeda.

One of them is in prison over connections to Al-Qaeda, while the second was killed by security forces a few years ago in Riyadh, according to several sources.

The verdict can be appealed within 30 days.

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