ABU DHABI: Two Pakistani brothers accused of collecting money and recruiting jihadists for al Qaeda have gone on trial in the United Arab Emirates, a daily reported.
The two, accused of collecting money and recruiting people for al Qaeda, appeared in court on Monday, The National reported, adding that the pair, charged with “running a jihadi organisation and aiding and abetting al Qaeda,” has confessed to having links with the network.
They also “had direct communication with a senior member of al Qaeda,” the daily said without elaborating. The report only identified the suspects as “AkW,” a 49-year-old project manager, and “AsW,” a 43-year-old marketing manager, and said they arrived in the Gulf emirate in 2008. The two men “were arrested by UAE security forces at AsW’s home” in Ras al-Khaimah in April, “after a tip-off from Pakistan authorities,” said the daily.
However, they told the court that “their confessions had been obtained under duress.” Prosecutors allege AkW sent “two laptops, two telescopes, two pencil torches, two Swiss army knives and a tent” to “militants” in Pakistan. “His brother is accused of being an accomplice,” cited the report. Prosecutors said they found a message on AkW’s computer sent to Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, al Qaeda’s purported number three and Osama bin Laden’s former treasurer who was killed in a drone strike.
AkW categorically denied the court charges, saying that “all his actions were done out of goodwill,” The National reported.
The equipment was sent to his nephews, who worked for Lahore-based group Tanzeem e-Islami’s social relief wing “headed by Sultan Hafiz, also known as Sheikh Saeed,” the daily quoted AkW as saying.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2010.