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Thu 18 Apr 2013 10:38 AM

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UAE says al Qaeda terror cell uncovered

Officials say group of seven Arabs was planning to carry out acts to threaten security

UAE says al Qaeda terror cell uncovered

Security forces in the UAE uncovered an alleged terrorist cell that adheres to al Qaeda, the state run WAM news agency reported on Thursday.

The cell which is made up of seven individuals of unspecified Arab nationalities was planning to carry out acts that threaten the security of the UAE, the safety of its citizens and residents, WAM reported, citing a government official.

The alleged terror cell intended to recruit members and "promote the work of al Qaeda, providing them with funds, logistical support and intending to spread its activities to neighbouring countries," the government agency said.

State security prosecution will start an investigation with the accused in preparation to their trial, it added.

In December the UAE said it had arrested a cell of UAE and Saudi Arabian members of a "deviant group" which was planning to carry out militant attacks in both countries and other states. The phrase "the deviant group" is often used by authorities in Saudi Arabia to describe al Qaeda members.

There was no immediate word on whether the December arrests were related to those announced on Thursday. Diplomats in the region have said the December arrests were related mostly to Islamist activity in Yemen.

In 2010, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a merger of al Qaeda's Yemeni and Saudi branches, said it was behind a plot to send two parcel bombs to the United States. The bombs were intercepted in Britain and the UAE emirate of Dubai.