Appeals Court upholds 15-year jail sentence of ‘Al-Qaeda mufti’

Updated 28 November 2013

Appeals Court upholds 15-year jail sentence of ‘Al-Qaeda mufti’

A special criminal court has upheld a 15-year prison term that was handed to Sulaiman Al-Alwan, also known as the “Al-Qaeda mufti,” in October.
The sentence was upheld after Al-Alwan appealed the preliminary ruling.
Al-Alwan was arrested on April 28, 2004, and released on bail in December 2012 for trial.
The Court of Appeals ruling is final and should be implemented immediately, which means he has six more years in jail and will be banned from traveling for 10 years on completion of his sentence.
The presiding judge of the special court in Riyadh had earlier convicted Al-Alwan of charges of visiting Al-Qaeda members and sanctioning suicide operations.
He was charged with abusing the nation’s judges and bureaucrats and accusing them of being more loyal to the country’s rulers than to divine rules and Prophetic traditions.
He described the religious scholars as “sultans” who only issue fatwas that suit the country’s leaders.
Charges against him also included questioning the legitimacy of the country’s rulers and financing terrorism through Al-Qaeda by collecting for and providing financial aid to Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda's leader.
He also called on security personnel not to follow orders from higher authorities to protect them from blasphemy, in addition to supporting 9/11 and breaking parole terms by visiting the houses of suspects arrested in security raids.
The 15-year prison sentence includes eight years for money laundering according to Article 16 of the law against money-laundering.
Al-Alwan is banned from traveling abroad for 10 years.
The defendant is to decide the means of atonement at the end of his sentence and will be subject to new lawsuits if he is found to be in violation of the law once again.

2 more Houthi drones shot down by Saudi-led Coalition forces

Updated 35 min 34 sec ago

2 more Houthi drones shot down by Saudi-led Coalition forces

  • Three drones, six ballistic missiles launched toward Saudi Arabia by Houthis in a span of 24 hours
  • All six missiles and three drones were shot down by Coalition air defenses

JEDDAH: Two more drones launched by Houthi "terrorists" from Sanaa toward Saudi Arabia were shot down early Monday, the ninth hit in a span of 24 hours, Coalition forces supporting Yemen's legitimate government said .

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Maliki said the two drones were intercepted and shot down in Yemeni airspace by Saudi-led air defense forces.

On Sunday evening, six ballistic missiles fired from Yemen were also intercepted by the coalition as they headed towards Jazan in south-west Saudi Arabia.

Al-Maliki said the missiles were launched by Houthis from Saada province "in an attempt to target civilian and civilian installations in Jazan city.” 

Earlier on Sunday, the coalition shot down a Houthi drone targeting the Saudi city of Khamis Mushayt, state news agency SPA reported.

The drone attack targeting Khamis Mushayt, state was the second on the city in recent days. 

Earlier this month, 10 drones attacked the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant in Saudi Arabia near the UAE border. The attack caused no injuries and did not disrupt operations, Saudi Arabia said.

Al-Maliki said the attacks reflect the size of the Houthi’s losses on the battlefield in Yemen as a result “of the continuing military operations deep inside Saada governorate.”

"All attempts by the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia to launch drones are doomed to fail and the coalition takes all operational procedures and best practices of engagement rules to deal with these drones to protect civilians," Al-Maliki said.