Saudi Arabia has 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 Riyadh last year.
The interior ministry announced the execution in a statement on Thursday, identifying the man as 33-year-old Emad Abdelqawi al-Mansouri. He was sentenced to death in late December, a swift six weeks after the attack in mid-November.
The troupe from Spain had been performing at a park in Riyadh on the evening of November 11 when a man stormed the stage and attacked them with a knife. It marked the first such incident of violence since the kingdom began loosening restrictions on entertainment two years ago.
The Specialised Criminal Court, established to try “terrorism” cases in Riyadh, found al-Mansouri guilty on various 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-Qaeda leader in Yemen. The name of the alleged al-Qaeda leader was not made public.
The court ruled a second suspect, who was not identified, be sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison. He was found guilty of aiding and abetting the attacker and sending money to al-Qaeda in Yemen.
State-owned news media outlets aired footage of the night of the attack, showing security personnel 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.