JEDDAH: MD AL-SULAMI
Published — Monday 25 November 2013
Last update 25 November 2013 1:34 pm
A special criminal court in Riyadh on Sunday sentenced one of the defendants in the 55-member terror cell to death for attacking the US Consulate in Jeddah in 2004 and killing four people.
The court sentenced 17 defendants of the same cell to jail terms ranging between one-and-a-half years and 23 years.
The sixth defendant told the judge during the trial that he still believed what he did against the Americans was correct.
When the judge announced the death sentence, the defendant asked whether it was a divine judgment. The judge then replied: “You and those with you killed five people, including four Muslims.”
The judge then recited a verse from the Holy Qur’an, saying that such criminals deserve the death sentence, as they cause chaos and confusion in the land. The public prosecutor earlier read out a series of charges against the sixth defendant, including the adoption of takfiri ideology (branding opponents as infidels), participating in terror operations, planning and executing the US Consulate attack and plotting a terrorist attack in Tabuk.
This particular cell comprised 54 Saudis and a Yemeni. They were accused of joining the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization, attacking the US Consulate in Jeddah, holding consulate staff as hostages, resisting security forces and throwing bombs at them and trying to kidnap a regional governor and an American and hijack a foreign aircraft at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh.