113 terror suspects arrested in Kingdom

Published: Mar 25, 2010 01:38 Updated: Mar 25, 2010 02:36 

JEDDAH: Saudi security forces have arrested 113 Al-Qaeda militants who were 
planning to carry out terrorist attacks on a number of targets inside the 
Kingdom including oil installations, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.

Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said his forces had broken up 
three cells of Al-Qaeda militants, with one cell consisting of 101 people, and 
two smaller cells made up of six men each.

"The large cell comprised 47 Saudis and 51 Yemenis, as well as a Somali, a 
Bangladeshi and an Eritrean," he said.

The two smaller groups were made up of 11 Saudis and a Yemeni. He said Al-Qaeda 
planned to carry out new terrorist attacks inside the Kingdom in October, 
targeting economic facilities and security officers while Saudi military and 
security forces were busy confronting Yemeni infiltrators in the south of the 

The large cell was discovered as a result of an investigation launched after 
suspected Al-Qaeda militants - two of them dressed as women - tried to 
infiltrate the country in October with explosives. The two were killed in a 
shootout at the border and a third was arrested.

Al-Turki identified the two Saudi terrorists killed during the confrontation 
with security forces in Jazan as Yousuf Muhammad Mubarak Al-Shahri and Raed 
Abdullah Salim Al-Harbi.

"The two had infiltrated the country through the Yemeni border to carry out 
terrorist operations," the spokesman said. Police then arrested seven people 
who had allegedly helped the two terrorists enter the Kingdom.

"This incident shows that Al-Qaeda was using individuals inside the Kingdom to 
carry out their operations," he added.

The foreigners in the cell were said to have entered the country under the 
cover of seeking work or visiting holy sites in Makkah and Madinah.

The two small cells were operating independent of each other and were said to 
be linked to the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) group, 
tasked with targeting oil installations. The ministry spokesman did not say 
where or when the arrests were made.

"The two small cells were in the primary stages of preparing attacks on oil and 
security installations in the Eastern Province," he said.

Suicide bombers tried but failed to attack an oil facility at the Abqaiq oil 
complex in eastern Saudi Arabia in February 2006. The complex is the world's 
largest oil- processing facility.

Saudi officials said security forces have thwarted several plots inside the 
Kingdom, rounding up numerous suspected militants and seizing weapons caches 
and bomb-making equipment, all linked to Al-Qaeda.

Al-Turki said the ministry made the announcement in order to caution Saudis, 
residents and foreign pilgrims about the criminal plots of the deviant group. 
"Apart from the support of God, the awareness of citizens about these criminal 
plans would contribute to foiling these terrorist plans," Al-Turki said, adding 
that Saudi security forces would continue to be vigilant to thwart such 

Police seized arms and ammunition, 12 hand grenades, communication devices, 
pre-paid mobile phone chips and computers as well as unspecified amounts of 
cash including foreign currency from the militants. 

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