2003 Press Release

Saudi Arabia thwarts terrorist attacks

Kingdom Arrests 16 in Terror Raids, Confiscates Lethal Chemicals

[Washington, DC] -- Saudi authorities defused terrorist operations which were about to be carried out against vital installations and arrested members of a number of terrorist cells after searching their hide-outs in farms and homes in the provinces of Riyadh and Qaseem and in the Eastern Province, according to the Ministry of Interior.  Underground storage facilities were found at these farms and homes, containing bags filled with over 20 tons of chemical mixtures used in the making of explosives. The authorities found boxes, buried underground, that contained such items as 72 kilograms of the explosive material RDX, a fuse 981 meters long, and 524 ignitors, in addition to a number of machine guns and 18 rocket-propelled grenades with five launchers. They also found night-vision binoculars, communication devices, computer CDs, and SR 300,000 in cash, as well as motorbikes and cars ready for use in carrying out terrorist operations. Sixteen individuals connected to the terrorist cells were arrested in the raids. Saudi law enforcement authorities are continuing their search for other suspects connected to these cells.

Since May 2003, Saudi Arabia has arrested more than 140 individuals with suspected ties to terrorism. This is in addition to more than 300 arrests of terrorist suspects since September 11, 2001.

Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin Sultan said: “These arrests put yet another dent in Al-Qaeda’s terror network. They should serve as a warning to anyone who would jeopardize the security of Saudi Arabia’s citizens and residents that we will find them and bring them to justice.”