RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Thursday executed a Yemeni man found guilty of attacking a Spanish dance troupe and wounding three people on stage before a stunned audience in the capital last year.
The Interior Ministry announced the execution in a statement and identified the man as 33-year-old Yemeni national Emad Abdelqawi al-Mansouri. He was sentenced to death in late December, a swift six weeks after the attack in Riyadh in mid-November.
The troupe from Spain had been performing at a park in Riyadh on the evening of Nov. 11 when a man stormed the stage and attacked them with a knife. It marked the first such incidence of violence since the kingdom began loosening restrictions on entertainment around two years ago.
The Specialized Criminal Court, established to try terrorism cases in Riyadh, found al-Mansouri guilty on a number of charges, including stabbing performers and a security guard, intimidating the public, tampering with national security, creating chaos and terror and attempting to derail entertainment activities in Saudi Arabia.
The court also found the man guilty of acting on the orders of a senior al-Qaida leader in Yemen. The name of the alleged al-Qaida leader was not made public.
The court ruled that a second suspect, who was not identified, be sentenced to 12.5 years in prison. He was found guilty of aiding and abetting the attacker and sending money to al-Qaida in Yemen.
State-owned news media outlets aired footage the night of the attack showing security as they ran on stage to capture the suspect. Other state-linked media outlets shared footage online of a man running on stage and apparently attacking the performers from behind as the troupe, dressed in gold ensembles, performed a dance.