Yemin Judge Lets al Qaeda Off, Justified under Sharia

A Yemini judge has released 19 al Qaeda terrorists on the grounds that murdering foreigners is permissible under Sharia law.

The trial of 19 alleged al Qaeda members had been designed to showcase how serious Yemen was in the fight against terror. But the Islamic militants, accused of plotting to assassinate Westerners and blow up a hotel frequented by Americans, were all acquitted for lack of proof, the presiding judge ruled Saturday. Prosecutors had failed to provide “adequate evidence that the defendants were plotting attacks against foreigners or planning to assassinate Americans in Yemen,” the verdict said.

Critics say the decision points to the Yemeni president’s bid to win the radical Islamic vote ahead of elections due in September.

Several of defendants did confess to having been in Iraq to fight US troops there and had Iraqi stamps on their passport, the court heard. “But this does not violate [Yemeni] law,” the judge said. “Islamic Sharia law permits jihad against occupiers,” he said.

The religion of peace and all that.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Religion, Terrorism, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Herb says:

    Well, so much for Yemin. Everyone should now know how they stand on the GWOT.

    It seems that there is little to trust about those who wear a towel on their heads.

    If Islamic law condones terrorist, then Islamist should be on the target list with no restrictions.

  2. gar swafur says:

    open season !

  3. LaurenceB says:

    Nice opening salvo James! Good follow-up Herb!

    Let the bigoted comments begin!