Kuwait commutes death sentences of four Qaeda members


Two Kuwaitis and two bidoon, or stateless residents, were arrested for their involvement in the firefights with police in 2005 in which four police and eight militants, including two Saudis, were killed. Two civilians were also killed.



They were members of the so-called Peninsula Lions Brigades, a militant outfit affiliated with the Al-Qaeda terror network of Osama bin Laden. They were allegedly plotting to attack US forces in the Gulf emirate and Iraq.



Their death sentences, upheld on appeal in November last year, were commuted by Kuwait’s top court of cassation, whose verdicts are final.



The court confirmed sentences against 15 other members of the group in custody, ranging from life to two years’ jail, as well as the acquittal of seven of the accused.



Eight other alleged group members remain at large.



They include Mohsen al-Fadhli and Khaled al-Dosari, both Kuwaitis, who are wanted by Kuwaiti for several terror-related offences and have been sentenced to 10 years each. Fadhli figures on a United Nations list of terror financiers.



Also among the fugitives is Salman Hamed al-Shimmari, the only Saudi defendant, who has been handed a 15-year term.



Talal Adri, the only Australian of Arab origin in the case, had his 30-month sentence upheld. He is due to be released next month after completing his term.



Most of the men were arrested during and after fighting four bloody gunbattles with Kuwaiti security forces, the first such incidents in the oil-rich Gulf state.



The sole woman in the group, Noha al-Enezi, died of cancer in a London hospital in April last year.



She was the wife of alleged ring leader Amer Khlaif al-Enezi, who died in police custody eight days after his arrest during a gunfight on January 31, 2005. His younger brother, Nasser, was killed in a gunfight a day earlier.


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