Saudi Arabia to jail citizens who fight abroad

By REUTERS
February 3, 2014 18:56

 
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RIYADH - Saudi Arabia will jail for 3-20 years any citizen who fights in conflicts abroad, according to a royal decree released on Monday, in an apparent move to deter Saudis from joining rebels in Syria and then posing a security risk once they return home.

Saudi Arabia's Islamic religious authorities have previously spoken out against Saudis joining Islamist militants involved in Syria's civil war, but the Interior Ministry estimates that around 1,200 Saudis have gone there nonetheless.

The decree underscored concern about young Saudis hardened by battle against Syrian President Bashar Assad coming home to target the ruling Al Saud royal family - as happened after earlier wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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