15 sentenced in Saudi Arabia for supporting terrorism

Riyadh, March 21: A criminal court in Saudi Arabia sentenced 15 persons for terms ranging from 11 months to 16 years in prison for supporting terrorism and terror organisations and propagating “takfiri” (hardline) ideology.

Of the defendants who were sentenced Thursday, 14 are Saudis and a Jordanian, the Arab News reported Friday citing official statement.

There were a total of 30 defendants and 15 of them were sentenced Thursday.

The defendants were also charged with possessing documents related to making bombs and explosives.

The accused had also facilitated the travel of young Saudis to fight in crisis-hit countries.

One of the defendants was handed 16 years and fined 30,000 Saudi riyals (about $8000).

The court also sentenced 13 men Wednesday up to 14 years in prison for security offences, including material support to wanted Islamist militants, aiding terrorism and helping young men go to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan to fight.

The strict steps from the country’s government came after the growing role of Saudi militants in Syria.

They were convicted of owning material that glorified Al Qaeda, money laundering and of involvement in weapons training in militant camps.

The new decree of the country’s government said moral or material support for such groups would incur prison terms of five to 30 years, while travelling overseas to fight would be punishable by sentences of three to 20 years.