(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Ministry of Interior today announced the arrest of 17 suspects in three terror cells who were involved in past terror attacks and were plotting future attacks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The terror cells constituted a terror network linked to Daesh (ISIL) and were arrested in an operation that included a series of raids conducted over several months.
Saudi authorities seized pipe bombs, guns, ammunition, suicide vests and bomb-making materials in the raids. In a press conference, Ministry of Interior spokesman Major General Mansour Al-Turki said the terrorist cells had a list of targets that included civilians, religious scholars and security officers as well as the locations of military installations and economic targets. He said the suspects were found to have provided Daesh with media and electronic support.
The suspects arrested included 14 Saudis, a Yemeni, a Palestinian and an Egyptian. Those arrested were additionally accused of producing explosive belts and cans to be used during their operations, providing sanctuary to wanted individuals, supporting terrorists with money and weapons and moving them to Saudi Arabia, tracking targeted areas, providing electronic and media support for Daesh, and communicating with Daesh leaders.
The raids disrupted several ongoing operations by the cells, some of which were in the advanced stages of preparation, including:
- A planned attack targeting a member of Ministry of Defense in Riyadh by attaching a bomb to his car.
- An imminent attack targeting public security students in training by placing an explosive device at the entrance to the training facility.
- Two planned suicide bombings using explosive-belts. The plotters were captured and explosive materials were confiscated during a raid on a terrorist safe house.