Specialized criminal court begins hearings against 85 people accused of terrorism

June 26, 2011

A specialized criminal court began hearing the case today against 85 people accused of joining the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization and working within a cell led by the deceased Turki Nasser Mishaal Aldandani. The accused are charged with possessing explosives, missiles, military weapons, and chemical materials and smuggling said items into the country for terrorist acts on behalf of Al-Qaeda.

Prosecutors have charged the accused with plotting to implement the following crimes:

  1. Armed attacks against security personnel, including opening fire and wounding two men, and preventing the arrest of the terrorist cell’s master planner on 19/12/1423 H (February 20, 2003) . Ten of the men are accused of participating in this crime.
  2. Creating a den for the manufacture and processing of explosives in Riyadh’s Azizia district, resulting in an explosion that killed one cell member and led to the seizure of a number of hand grenades, weapons, guns and ammunition.
  3. Firing on security forces and citizens and committing armed robbery against a motorist in the Almaseef district of Riyadh.
  4. Resisting security forces and threatening the safety of citizens in the neighborhood of Ashbeilia in Riyadh on 5/3/1424 H. (July 2, 2003).  After being spotted and chased, the accused opened fire on security personnel, looted a number of citizens’ cars and took refuge in a den that was subject to security control.
  5. Implementation of a terrorist crime with car bombs on the night of 12/3/1424 H. (May 12, 2003)  against three residential compounds in Riyadh in the neighborhoods of Gharnata, Ashbailia and Janadriyah, resulting in the death and injury of 129 people, including children, women and men. Thirteen of the men are accused of participating in this crime.
  6. Hiding and smuggling ringleader Turki Nasser Mishaal Aldandani and four of his associates prior the attack on the residential complexes from Riyadh to Al-Ahsa and then to Al-Jouf, where the den in which he hid was raided on 3/5/1424 H. (July 3, 2003), prompting him to commit suicide along with three companions.

According to the lawsuit, the arrest of the defendants caused them to abort plans already in the works, including:

  1. Planning to blow up King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushayt. Six of the men are accused of participating in this scheme.
  2. Planning to blow up Prince Sultan Air Base in Al-Kharj. Eight of the men are accused of participating in this scheme.
  3. Planning to bomb residential complexes inthe  Eastern Province.
  4. Planning to bomb Saudi Aramco. Five of the men are accused of participating in this scheme.
The lawsuit determined the roles of the defendants in the following:

  1. Implementation of terrorist acts.
  2. Collection of information about places and people.
  3. Recruitment by using publications, books and audio-visual media inciting the murder of expatriates and criminal acts under the pretext of jihad following the guidance of Al-Qaeda theorists and targeting in their recruitment staff members that could exploit their access to information.
  4. Training recruits in the cell’s ranks and providing videos, including combat training recorded in Afghanistan.
  5. Fundraising and exploiting Arab and Islamic causes, collecting large sums of money and transferring it to Al-Qaeda activities, and illicitly trading in arms.
  6. Facilitating the movement of elements of the cell, whose names were included on wanted lists, forging personal documents, renting apartments for the organization, purchasing vehicles, accommodating fugitives, helping them to move under the cover of secrecy and using their personal accounts in remittances and financial operations.
  7. Dissemination of deviant publications and broadcasting wills and speeches of terrorists documented prior to their carrying out terrorist operations, as well as presenting and glorifying bombings by Al-Qaeda and adding sound and visual effects to them to gain moral and media support during recruitment or in preparation of other operations, and contacts with Saad Al-Faqih through sound and video recordings.
The public lawsuit documented the items seized from the defendants, including missiles, bombs, high explosives, personal arms, publications, audio and visual media calling for the embrace of deviant thoughts and incitement against leaders, scholars and security personnel, and recordings, photographs and videos of terrorist operations carried out by the cell. The lawsuit also noted a large amount of evidence, including legally certified confessions, testimony by the accused and witnesses, statements and records of arrest, technical, chemical and medical evidence, weapons and seized documents.