U.A.E. Sentences Alleged Muslim Brotherhood Member to Seven Years

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On Monday, the U.A.E. sentencedMohammed Ali al-Shehhi to seven years in prison after he was convicted of membership in the Muslim Brotherhood and funding the organization. The group was outlawed late last year, after being declared a ‘terrorist’ organization in Saudi Arabia, and has been accused of attempting to overthrow the government. Al-Shehhi was convicted due to his alleged previous activities in the organization, which reportedly included “being in charge of the membership committee…[and] the charity committee, collected alms and donations, and transferred money to other members of the organisation.” His defense lawyers claimed al-Shehhi has been out of the country for the last 13 years conducting charity work and there was “no concrete evidence established” in the case. The verdict cannot be appealed and comes less than two weeks after the Muslim Brotherhood declared an [Ar] ”open jihad” on its official website.

In other news, the U.A.E. confirmed the resumption of airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) and sent F-16 fighter jets to Jordan over the weekend, after halting U.A.E. airstrikes last week. On Monday, Colonel Pilot Saeed Hassan of the U.A.E. affirmed the country’s “solidarity with…the leadership, the government, and the people of Jordan through our effective participation in the global coalition to counter Dae’sh.” The State Departmentnoted that General John Allen and Ambassador Brett McGurk “welcomed the decision by the UAE to base its F-16s in Jordan for future strike missions against ISIL targets” in a meeting with Jordanian leadership on Monday. Nigel Wilson reports that the country’s previous decision to withdraw air forces last week was in part due to “its discontent with the coalition which has not kept its promise in supporting the Sunnis in Anbar, not preparing them, equipping them and arming them to take part in the war against Daesh.”

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