‘Lady Al-Qaeda’ says she was brainwashed

Men inspect the devastated Al-Hamra expatriate housing compound that was hit by an Al-Qaeda suicide car bombing in Riyadh in May 2003. Haila Al-Qaseer, the first terror convict in the Kingdom, has said she made the wrong decision of joining the terror group.

Men inspect the devastated Al-Hamra expatriate housing compound that was hit by an Al-Qaeda suicide car bombing in Riyadh in May 2003. Haila Al-Qaseer, the first terror convict in the Kingdom, has said she made the wrong decision of joining the terror group.


A woman terror convict is repenting that she made the wrong decision of joining the Al-Qaeda terror group, which, she said, always misled and brainwashed her with false propaganda.

“The Saudi judicial authorities actually showed leniency in my case. I deserved a prison term of not less than 30 years, but got a lenient sentence,” Haila Al-Qaseer, who is the first terror convict in the Kingdom, said in her first media appearance recently.

The Saudi woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on various charges under the anti-terrorism law.

Commenting on her attempt to escape from prison, Al-Qaseer said she did it because she thought the security men would rape her to extract information, as the leadership of Al-Qaeda had frequently brainwashed her in this regard.

“All the facts contradicted the lies that Al-Qaeda instilled in my mind about the Kingdom and the detectives. I am now very sure that I was misled and delusional,” she was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.

Speaking about what she felt during the final court verdict against her, Al-Qaseer said: “Just moments before the judge delivered the verdict, I was in a spiral… tension and pain. But when I heard the sentence, I collapsed and cried.”

Regretting over her decision to join the terror group, she said: “The road that I had chosen cost me my life and youth. My daughter lost her mother and father.”

Al-Qaseer, who is now in the women’s prison in Hair, said she collected millions of riyals while giving religious lectures, and described the members of Al-Qaeda group as a bunch of “idiots.”

Al-Qaseer, who was known as “Lady Al-Qaeda,” has been convicted with several charges of terrorism such as sheltering wanted persons, recruiting members for Al-Qaeda, financing terrorist actions and possessing arms and ammunition to be used for terrorist attacks.

The charges against her also included trying to leave the Kingdom for conflict zones without authorization of the government and participating in forging the identities of those who wanted to leave the Kingdom for fighting abroad.


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