UAE arrests: 41 accused of plotting ‘caliphate’
Authorities in the United Arab Emirates say 41 people will go on trial for trying to “seize power and establish a caliphate” in the Gulf nation.
The state news agency said the group comprised foreigners and UAE nationals.
Attorney General Salem Saeed Kubaish said the suspects planned to “carry out terrorist acts on UAE territories”.
It is the latest in a series of trials against Islamists in the UAE. Rights groups have attacked the fairness of the hearings.
The group had a “takfiri” ideology, Mr Kubaish said – referring to an extremist Sunni Muslim belief pursued by the so-called Islamic State.
“Takfir” is the practice of one Muslim declaring another an apostate – and one which IS has used to carry out punishments.
Mr Kubaish said they also had guns and explosives and had been in touch with militant groups abroad.
In July 2013, 68 Islamists were jailed without right of appeal after being accused of a plot to overthrow the UAE’s government.
One human rights observer said the verdict “cemented the UAE’s reputation as a serious abuser of basic human rights”.
And in January last year, a court in the capital Abu Dhabi convicted 30 peopleover links to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party.
The defendants were said to be linked to an Emirati Islamist political society, al-Islah, which prosecutors asserted was a branch of the Egypt-based Brotherhood. But al-Islah says it favours peaceful reform and denies ties to the Islamist movement.