UAE jails self-proclaimed local leader of ISIS for life

Sunday 08/05/2016
Vigilance is needed to combat terrorism

ABU DHABI - An Emirati court on Monday ordered a self-proclaimed local leader of the Islamic State group jailed for life for plotting a series of attacks, media reported.

The court in Abu Dhabi convicted Emirati Mohammed al-Hashemi, 34, of plotting attacks on the city's Formula 1 circuit and its branch of Swedish furniture chain Ikea, as well as planning to assassinate an unspecified Emirati leader, daily The National reported.

Hashemi's wife, also an Emirati, was executed in July for the jihadist-inspired December 2014 murder of an American school teacher in an Abu Dhabi shopping mall, one month after her husband's arrest.

The National quoted a witness as telling the court that Hashemi had "appointed himself" an "emir" of the jihadist group and had also, according to prosecution documents, donated some 80,000 dirhams ($21,800) to Al-Qaeda.

With his wife, he had "planned terrorist attacks in the country in retaliation for the UAE's stance against ISIL," the newspaper quoted prosecutors as saying, using another name for ISIS.

The United Arab Emirates is a member of the US-led coalition that has been bombing ISIS since mid-2014 in parts of Syria and Iraq under its control.

The couple had performed a "symbolic ceremony to pledge allegiance" to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a witness said, according to the daily.

International media are not allowed access such trials.