Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Saudi court jails 17 for seeking to fight in Iraq-SPA

Source: Reuters - Mon, 1 Sep 2014 18:54 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-war med-dev
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

DUBAI, Sept 1 (Reuters) - A Saudi Arabian court jailed 17 men for up to 26 years on Monday for seeking to fight in Iraq and funding militants, official media reported, part of a security crackdown in which scores have been imprisoned in recent weeks.

Worried about potential threats from citizens who have travelled to join Islamist insurgents in Syria and Iraq, Saudi Arabia has banned them from fighting abroad, donating money to any faction or sympathising with militant ideologies.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported that the 17 were were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from 2-1/2 years to 26 years.

The men were charged with following extremist ideology, disobeying the country's leadership by planning to fight in Iraq, coordinating the travel of some "misled" members of society and trying to turn public opinion against the state.

The SPA report said one of the 17 was Senegalese, but did not state the nationality of the rest.

The world's No. 1 oil exporter, Riyadh is unnerved by the rapid advance in Iraq and Syria of Islamic State insurgents and fears this could radicalise some of its own citizens and eventually lead to attacks on the U.S.-allied government.

Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti urged young people on Aug 28 to ignore calls to jihad from people representing "deviant principles", the latest salvo in an anti-militant campaign by the kingdom's religious establishment.

Saudi Arabia has detained thousands since 2003 over security offences, jailing hundreds of them.

(Reporting by Reem Shamseddine, Writing by William Maclean)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus