Top prosecutor in United Arab Emirates sends 41 people to trial accused with planning terror acts in hope of 'overthrowing the government'

They are accused of plotting to establish an 'extremist state'

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The Independent Online

The top prosecutor in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has referred 41 people to trial on charges of planning to carry out terrorist acts with the aim of overthrowing the government and establishing an "extremist state", according to a statement released today.

In a statement, Prosecutor General Salem Saeed Kubaish, said that the cell called itself "Shabab Al-Manarah" or "Minaret Youths." Kubaish went on to state that the group planned to carry out terrorist acts against the country's leadership and public with the aim of creating an Islamic state, or caliphate.

The UAE, a federation of seven emirates that includes the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has been clamping down on even nonviolent Islamist groups in recent years, sentencing dozens of opposition figures to spells in prison. It is also part of the U.S.-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against Isis in Syria and Iraq.

The statement, carried by the state-run WAM news agency, did not list the nationalities of those accused, only saying that some are Emirati. The group will also be charged with raising funds to illegally acquire firearms and explosives and raising money for "foreign terrorist groups" in exchange for their assistance. It currently remains unclear which foreign groups these are alleged to be.

Kubaish said the group formed committees to recruit young Emiratis and planned to train them on how to shoot firearms, how to carry out attacks using explosives and how to record audio and video messages to promote their ideas online.

Their trial before the Supreme Court starts 24 August, according to Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper.