A Saudi court issued on Thursday death and prison sentences against 12 persons accused of forming an armed cell to illegally enter Yemen. One of the members was accused of killing two security officers at a border checkpoint.
The terrorist crime dates back to Nov. 5, 2012, when a border guard patrol in the Sharurah sector in Najran (southern Saudi Arabia) was ambushed by a number of persons armed with automatic rifles. The attack left two security officers dead, but the rest of the patrol was able to chase and arrest the aggressors as they were trying to cross the Saudi border into Yemeni territory.
A statement said that a preliminary verification of the identities of the attackers and their criminal records revealed that the arrested Saudis were previously detained for their involvement in crimes but later released. The statement added that they were attempting to join terrorist organizations in Yemen.
The court sentenced the first defendant to death, while the remaining members of the cell were handed prison sentences for periods ranging between 8 and 25 years. Charges against those included forming a terrorist cell to illegally enter Yemen, joining terrorist organizations to participate in fighting outside the Kingdom, possessing and using arms and ammunition to disrupt internal security, and committing terrorism financing as well as other crimes.