United Arab Emirates arrest suspected al Qaeda-linked group | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 18.04.2013
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Middle East

United Arab Emirates arrest suspected al Qaeda-linked group

United Arab Emirates authorities have apprehended members of a group believed to be working with the terror network al Qaeda. The suspects had allegedly been planning an attack on the Gulf state.

A seven-member group was taken into custody on Thursday under suspicion of links to terror organizations and plans to carry out a terrorist attack on the United Arab Emirates, according to the country's state news agency WAM.

Authorities did not confirm the suspects' nationalities, but did say they were from Arab countries.

Authorities also had evidence of a plot "that would target the country's security and the safety of its citizens and residents," WAM reported.

The UAE cell had allegedly provided financial and logistical support to the terror cell al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda operates known terror cells across the Middle East. Most recently, its group in Iraq has regained footing and has been spreading its influence across its border with war-torn Syria.

In contrast to the rest of the region, the Gulf state has remained stable and free of extremist attacks. However, Thursday's arrests revealed suspicions that the UAE group had been "carrying out recruitment, and promoting the actions of al Qaeda," locally.

Initial reports could not confirm whether Thursday's arrests related to a similar case late last year. In December, authorities arrested UAE nationals and Saudi Arabian members of group allegedly plotting to attacks in the UAE and neighboring countries.

kms/mz (AFP, Reuters)