Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pakistanis on Trial in United Arab Emirates

ABU DHABI, Dec 28: Two Pakistani brothers accused of collecting money and recruiting ‘jihadis’ for Al Qaeda have gone on trial in the United Arab Emirates, a daily reported on Tuesday.

They appeared in court on Monday, The National newspaper reported.

The pair, charged with “running a jihadi organisation and aiding and abetting Al Qaeda”, has confessed to having links with the jihadi network, the court was told according to the report.

They also “had direct communication with a senior member of Al Qaeda”, it said.

The report only identified the suspects as ‘AkW’, a 49-year-old project manager, and ‘AsW’, a 43-year-old marketing manager, and said they arrived in the Gulf emirate in 2008.

The two men “were arrested by UAE security forces at AsW’s home” in Ras Al Khaimah in April, “after a tip-off from the Pakistani authorities”, the paper said.

However, they told Monday’s hearing “their confessions to having links with Al Qaeda had been obtained under duress”. Prosecutors allege AkW sent “two laptop computers, two telescopes, two pencil torches, two Swiss army knives and a tent” to “Islamist militants” in Pakistan.

“His brother is accused of being an accomplice.”

The equipment was sent to Waziristan. Prosecutors said they found a message on AkW’s computer sent to Mustafa Abu Al Yazid, Al Qaeda’s purported number three and Osama bin Laden’s former treasurer who was later killed in a drone strike, on May 21.

AkW categorically denied the court charges.—AFP

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