Yemeni journalist gets jail for Al Qaeda ties

Presiding Judge Redhwan al-Namir said Abdul-Elah Haidar Shaia'a, 35, a freelance journalist and analyst with a specialism on Islamist groups, was guilty of committing a "criminal act" and "participating in an armed gang".

He said Shaia'a had recruited foreigners for the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the regional wing of the Islamist group. The judge acquitted Shaia'a of the charge of disseminating false news and statements.

The court also sentenced a co-defendant, Abdul-Kareem al-Shami, to two years in jail in the same case. It imposed a two-year travel ban outside the capital city on the two convicts after they serve their terms.

After the verdict was pronounced, Shaia'a shouted: "This is not a verdict, this is a plot."

"The judge accused of participating in an armed gang which is the gang of the National Security (agency) and covering up their criminal acts," he said.

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