UAE jails Nusra Front-linked trio over beach-bar attack plot
A UAE court on Wednesday sentenced three people to up to five years in prison after convicting them of plotting an attack on an unnamed bar in the tiny emirate of Umm al-Quwain.
The Abu Dhabi-based Federal Supreme Court handed two Emiratis jail terms ranging from one to five years, according to the official news agency WAM.
Only one of the two was jailed for plotting the attack and fined one million Dirhams ($272,257), while the other was jailed for failing to report the plot.
A third defendant from an unnamed Arab country was sentenced to three years, after which he will be deported, WAM said, without giving details of the organisation to which they were alleged to belong.
News website 24.ae said the trio formed a "terror cell for al-Nusra Front," the former Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda that renamed itself Fateh al-Sham Front last year.
The website said the Arab defendant was Palestinian.
The court also ordered the confiscation and destruction of computers seized during the investigation, Emirati website The National reported.
The UAE is a member of the US-led coalition that has been bombing IS jihadists in Iraq and Syria since September 2014.
Jihadist-linked terror attacks are rare in the UAE, which is, however, one of several Gulf states that have enacted tough anti-terror legislation, including the death penalty and harsher jail terms for crimes linked to religious hatred and extremist groups.
In October 2016, the Federal Supreme Court sentenced a Sudanese man to 10 years in prison for planning a bomb attack targeting foreign residents of the UAE.
He was also convicted of supporting the Islamic State group on social media.
Earlier that year, the same court sentenced four Emiratis to death after convicting them of joining IS Syria.
Three other Emiratis, a Bahraini, a Mauritanian and a Syrian were handed jail sentences of between three and 10 years.
Agencies contributed to this report.