Abu Dhabi: A member of a 41-man terrorist group charged with joining an outlawed organisation called Shabab Al Manara, which plotted to create a Daesh-style caliphate in the UAE, on Sunday confessed that he fought alongside the Al Nusra and Daesh groups in Syria.
Identified as G.S.G.M., the Emirati national told the Federal Supreme Court, presided over by judge Mohammad Jarrah Al Tunaiji, that he travelled to Syria, where he was trained and fought for Al Nusra and Daesh.
The man, however, denied other charges brought against him, including smuggling weapons into the country and plotting to set up a Daesh-style caliphate.
The defendant’s lawyer told the court he wanted to withdraw his services as counsel but had to stay back on the judge’s request.
The court ordered the hearing adjourned to February 14 so that the lawyer can state his case.
The 41 men on trial have been charged on several counts including plotting to carry out terrorist attacks through setting up a terrorist group with takfiri ideology under the name ‘Shabab Al Manara’ to carry out terrorist acts seeking to endanger national security and the lives of individuals, including the leaders of the country, with the intention of causing damage to the state and private infrastructure, seizing power and changing the ruling system through the establishment of a self-proclaimed ‘caliphate’ based on their extremist ideology and convictions.
In a second case,the court sentenced a Palestinian defendant Khalid Faisal Mohammad Saleh, 38, to five years in prison in addition to a fine of Dh1 million followed by deportation for initiating and running an online account to promote Daesh ideologies.
The prosecution said that the accused had set up accounts on Facebook and Twitter endorsing Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, leader of the terrorist organisation. Saleh had also published on social media two multimedia productions showing scenes from Dubai with ‘jihadi’ hymns recited in the background and promises to follow Al Baghdadi during his crusade in the UAE.
In another terror case involving 11 men charged on several counts, a vedict is set to be issued on February 14.
The first to fifth defendants were charged with joining Daesh and fighting alongside it in Syria.
The sixth defendant was charged with providing money to Abu Dejanah, a member of Daesh, and encouraging the second, third and fourth defendants to join Daesh. He is also charged with leading them to the seventh defendant, who helped them travel to Turkey and tasking another person to facilitate their travel to Syria.
The sixth defendant was also charged with contributing to buy tickets for suspects who travelled to Syria to join Daesh and promoting the ideology of the terrorist organisation in public places.
In another case involving an Omani charged with setting up and running a YouTube channel, a twitter account, a blog and a Facebook page to spread hatred, disturb social peace and distort the image of UAE and its leaders, the court adjourned the hearing to February 15 to allow for the medical report of the defendant to be examined.