RIYADH (AFP) – Four women in Saudi Arabia have been jailed for preparing their sons to wage war and for supporting al-Qaeda, official media said, in the kingdom’s latest “terrorist” convictions.
They were sentenced to between six and 10 years in prison, the Saudi Press Agency reported late Wednesday following the verdicts.
It said a court convicted the women on charges including “preparing some of their sons to fight in conflict areas believing that it is required by Islam”.
They were also found guilty of “supporting al-Qaeda”, accessing blocked Internet sites, and downloading “audio-visual material related to fighting.”
It did not say when the offences occurred or give the nationalities of the accused, although three were issued with travel bans, suggesting they are Saudi nationals.
The kingdom’s top cleric, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, has urged young Muslims not to be influenced by “calls for (holy war)… on perverted principles”.
He has described al-Qaeda and IS militants as “enemy number one” of Islam.
Authorities in 2011 established specialised tribunals to try Saudis and foreigners accused of belonging to al-Qaeda or of involvement in deadly attacks in the kingdom from 2003-2006.
The latest convictions come with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbours participating in US-led air strikes against Islamic State group extremists in Syria.
King Abdullah in February decreed jail terms of up to 20 years for citizens who travel abroad to fight, after the conflict in Syria attracted hundreds of Saudis.