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Emirati charged with planning UAE attacks – Suspect identified as husband of executed woman

DUBAI, Dec 29, (RTRS): The husband of an Emirati woman who was executed for killing a US teacher in Abu Dhabi last year has been charged with plotting bombings and other attacks on targets including a US base and a UAE leader, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The English-language newspaper the National said the Federal Supreme Court heard that the Emirati citizen “planned to target buses as they carried tourists along the Corniche and attack an American military base in the country”.

It did not elaborate on what base the charges referred to. “He was accused of planning to assassinate one of the UAE’s leaders and of making explosives without authorisation,” the National said, adding that the defendant had also sought to join Islamic State and gave money to a member of al- Qaeda. It and at least three other papers said the 34-year-old, identified by his initials as M.A.H., was also accused of plotting to bomb the Yas Marina Formula 1 race track and an IKEA home furnishings store popular with expat workers. Rich with oil and a hub for tourism, the UAE is a Western ally that opposes Islamist groups in the region and at home.

It has suffered relatively few militant attacks despite wars which have gripped Arab countries in the Middle East, but security fears have risen since Islamic State suicide bombers struck its Gulf Arab neighbours over the summer.

Earlier this year, the Federal Supreme Court convicted his 31-year-old wife, Ala’a al-Hashemi, of stabbing to death an American kindergarten teacher at a mall and trying to bomb an American- Egyptian doctor in militant-inspired attacks. The woman was executed in July, reportedly by firing squad. Hashemi was also found guilty of setting up a social media account to spread militant ideology with the aim of undermining the government, and of giving money to militant organisations for attacks, state news agency WAM said at the time. WAM reported that a man with the same initials had been charged by the Federal Supreme Court but did not describe the suspect as the executed woman’s husband.

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