UAE court jails six for setting up Hezbollah-linked terror cell

A United Arab Emirates court sentenced six people to up to life in prison for establishing a cell linked to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. (File/AP)
Updated 15 May 2019
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UAE court jails six for setting up Hezbollah-linked terror cell

DUBAI: Four men were sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for setting up a terrorist cell with links to Hezbollah.
The Federal Court of Appeal sentenced another two men to 10 years each in jail and acquitted five others, the state news agency WAM reported.
The men, described as Arab, were convicted on charges of planning to commit terrorist crimes and acts of vandalism against vital installations in the country.
The 11 defendants, all of whom have lived and worked in the UAE for more than 15 years, were arrested in late 2017 and early 2018.
They were charged in February with establishing a cell linked to the Iran-backed Hezbollah group.
The court ordered them to be deported from the country after their sentences end, confiscated all their communications equipment, computers and mobile phones and charged them with all the judicial expenses.
The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, classified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 2016 and warned its citizens and resident expatriates against any links to it.


UAE says joint probe into tanker attack ensures impartiality

Updated 27 min 28 sec ago
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UAE says joint probe into tanker attack ensures impartiality

  • UAE says international participation in an investigation into ‘sabotage attacks’ on oil tankers will lead to ‘impartial conclusions’
  • It also indicated the results may take time

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday that the participation of several countries in an investigation into last week’s attack on oil tankers off its coast would support the “impartiality and transparency” of the findings.
The Gulf Arab state has not yet blamed anyone for the acts of sabotage on four vessels including two Saudi oil tankers, but a senior UAE official has said Abu Dhabi was concerned about Iranian behavior in the region.
“The keenness of our international partners to participate in the investigation and the concerted efforts support the impartiality and transparency in arriving at results,” the UAE foreign ministry said in a statement carried on state news agency WAM.
US government sources told Reuters they believe Iran encouraged Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia or Iraq-based militias to carry out the operation.
Tehran has distanced itself from the attack, which comes as Iran and the United States spar over sanctions and the US military presence in the Gulf region.
The UAE foreign ministry statement welcomed the participation of several “friendly and brotherly” countries in the investigation, but did not name them. It did not give a timeframe, saying the probe would take “the time required.”
UAE officials have said that the United States and France, which has a naval base in Abu Dhabi, were participating in the investigation as well as Saudi Arabia and Norway.
A Norwegian-registered oil products tanker and a UAE fuel bunker barge were among the vessels hit near Fujairah emirate, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs located just outside the Strait of Hormuz.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash has said Abu Dhabi would show restraint after the attack and that it was committed to de-escalation during what he described as a “difficult situation” caused by Iranian behavior in the region.
Saudi Arabia has called for emergency Gulf and Arab summits in Makkah on May 30 to discuss the implications of the tanker attack and an armed drone strike two days later on Saudi oil installations in the Kingdom, for which the Houthis have claimed responsibility.