UAE arrests 41 people on charges of plotting to 'establish caliphate'

By Fred Lambert

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The United Arab Emirates on Sunday said it arrested 41 individuals on charges of terrorism and plotting to establish a caliphate in the Gulf Arab country.

The men were members of a group known as Shabab Al Manarah, or "The Minaret Youths," Attorney General Salem Saeed Kubaish told reporters.


The accused come from a variety of countries, including the UAE, according to reports.

The BBC quoted Kubaish as saying they planned to "carry out terrorist acts on UAE territories" and "seize power and establish a caliphate" there.

The suspects managed to gather firearms, ammunition and explosives using funds from foreign terrorist organizations with which they had been in touch, Gulf News quoted Kubaish as saying.

The trial will be the latest in a series of legal efforts against accused Islamic terrorists in the UAE that rights groups have criticized as being unfair. Sixty-eight people were imprisoned without appeal in January 2013 after being accused of a plot to overthrow the government, and in January 2014, a UAE court convicted 30 people of alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which the suspects denied.


The move comes less than a week after two police officers died in a bomb attack in the Gulf Arab nation of Bahrain, and it follows recent suicide attacks that have been claimed by the Islamic State against mosques in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The United Arab Emirates is a member of the international coalition against IS and joins Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Canada and the United States in conducting airstrikes against the Sunni extremist group in Syria.

Known as Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition began hitting IS forces with airstrikes last year after the extremists declared a caliphate in swaths of land they captured in Iraq and Syria.

Latest Headlines