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Saudi jihadist jailed 16 years over plot to kill top cleric

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 17:56

Riyadh: A Saudi court has jailed an al Qaeda-linked jihadist for 16 years for plotting to kill the kingdom`s grand mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, and other clerics, media said on Wednesday.

The sentence, which includes 40 lashes and a 16-year travel ban, was handed down yesterday by a court in Riyadh specialising in terrorism cases, the local Okaz daily reported.

According to Okaz, the jihadist was convicted of "recruiting several people to assassinate the kingdom`s grand mufti, several clerics, important personalities and security officials".

The official SPA news agency said the defendant was convicted of "receiving books inciting adoption of the deviant ideology and assassinating security officials and important personalities" in the kingdom, without specifying that the grand mufti was targeted.

The convicted man, who has not been named, has one month to appeal.

Saudi courts started in July 2011 to try hundreds of people believed linked to a wave of al Qaeda attacks from 2003 until 2006, when authorities launched a massive campaign of arrests targeting the jihadist network.

First Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 17:56

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