'Lady al-Qaeda' sentenced to 15 years in prison

Dubai, Oct 30:  A woman dubbed "Lady al-Qaeda" for being the first female in Saudi Arabia who underwent trial for involvement in terrorist activists has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by a court in the kingdom.

A special criminal court in Riyadh sentenced 37-year-old Haila Al-Qaseer after she was convicted of taking part in various terrorist activities, Arab News reported. The court also banned her from travelling abroad for 15 years after her release.

The court found her guilty of declaring the state as infidel, giving refuge to wanted terrorists, instigating people to carry out terrorist attacks, and possessing two guns without license and handing them over to terrorists to attack security officers, the newspaper said.

Al-Qaseer was also accused of financing terrorist operations and collecting more than 1 million riyals (USD 267,000) for the purpose. She had sent the amount to Al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen. She had also contacted al-Qaeda members in Yemen and Afghanistan.

The woman was also convicted of helping issue forged IDs to people seeking to join the insurgency in Iraq. The Saudi national has one month to appeal the ruling, a source said.

The woman had denied the charges, claiming she had been held captive by two men to whom she had been married in the past and who were members of al-Qaeda.


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