Four charged with plotting to assassinate late Saudi king: media

November 22, 2016 6:57 AM EST

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah arrives at Heathrow Airport in west London October 29, 2007. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Four suspected al Qaeda members have gone on trial accused of plotting to assassinate the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, newspapers in the kingdom reported on Tuesday.

The reports provided no details on the alleged assassination plot or when it may have occurred, but said the defendants were also charged with belonging to an extremist group, communicating with an al Qaeda leader and attempting to recruit Saudi youth.

"The trial of four al Qaeda terrorists accused of plotting to assassinate the late King Abdullah opened at the Special Criminal Court," the Arab News daily said, adding that the accused had been convicted earlier on other militancy charges.

Saudi Arabia overcame an al Qaeda insurgency almost a decade ago but has suffered several deadly attacks on mosques and security forces claimed by Islamic State.

King Abdullah died of natural causes in January 2015 and was succeeded by his brother Salman.

(Writing By Noah Browning, Editing by William Maclean and Dominic Evans)

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