UAE hands long jail terms to 11 Islamists

A top Emirati court sentenced 11 Islamists to up to life imprisonment

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A top Emirati court on Tuesday sentenced 11 Islamists to up to life imprisonment for links to Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants as well as rebels in Syria, official media reported.

The Federal Supreme Court convicted them of bomb-making and of joining and financing Al-Qaeda franchise Al-Nusra Front and Islamist rebel group Ahrar al-Sham, both in Syria.

Four defendants, who were tried in their absence, were handed life sentences while seven others were jailed for between three and 15 years, the WAM news agency said.

They include six foreigners -- four with Comoros Islands passports and two Syrians -- who will be deported after serving their jail terms, according to local media.

Four other defendants were acquitted.

The UAE in November released a long list of what it branded "terrorist organizations", topped by the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda.

In August, the UAE toughened anti-terrorism laws in a bid to stamp out terror financing, hostage-taking, human trafficking and money laundering.

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