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UAE Arrests 7 For Terror Links - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Burj Khalifa (center), the world's tallest tower, in Dubai, UAE, April 12, 2013 (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)

The Burj Khalifa (center), the world’s tallest tower, in Dubai, UAE, April 12, 2013 (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Security forces in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced the arrest of several members of a terrorist cell linked to Al-Qaeda on Thursday, according to the state news agency.

Seven Arabs of various nationalities have been detained by the authorities according to the report, though the details of their states of origin have yet to be revealed.

An anonymous source in the security services told the WAM agency that the cell “was planning to carry out acts within the UAE affecting the security of the state and the safety of its citizens and residents.

“It was also planning to recruit people and to promote the work of Al Qaeda, in addition to providing the organisation with funds and logistical support to facilitate the extension of their activities to some countries in the region.”

This development follows on the heels of a previous round of arrests in December, when several Emiratis and Saudis were detained by UAE authorities and accused of being members of a “deviant group,” a term which is often used by officials on the Arabian Peninsula to refer to Al-Qaeda.

The previous group was accused of planning attacks in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and some targets abroad.

Diplomatic sources told the Reuters news agency that the December arrests were linked to terrorist activities in Yemen, where Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been active in preparing attacks in the Middle East and on Western targets.

This was confirmed by Dubai’s police chief, Dhahi Khalfan, who told reporters in January that some of the accused were connected to AQAP.

The group was formed after the merger of Al-Qaeda’s Saudi and Yemen branches.

At time of writing, it is unknown if the individuals arrested this week are also accused of being connected to the organization.