101 members of terrorist network arrested

March 24, 2010

The Interior Ministry announced today the arrest of 101 extremists belonging to criminal networks attempting to attack targets inside the Kingdom.  Among those arrested were 47 Saudis, 51 Yemenis, one Somali, one Bangladeshi and one Eritrean.

According to a Ministry of Interior statement, the arrests were connected to a previously reported incident that occurred on October 13, 2009 at the Al-Hamraa checkpoint in Jazan Province, during which security personnel were shot by two men disguised in women’s clothing.  The perpetrators, identified as Saudi nationals Youssef Mohammed Mubarak Al-Jubairi Al-Shihri and Raed Abdullah Salem Al-Dhaheri Al-Harbi, had infiltrated into the Kingdom from Yemen and were killed before they could detonate their explosive belts and hand grenades. An initial investigation led to the arrest of seven people who had facilitated the entry of the two men.

An Interior Ministry spokesman noted that foreign terrorists are attempting to use Saudi expatriates and misguided youths to help recruit new members, raise funds and carry out attacks that target the citizens, security and wealth of the Kingdom. Saudi authorities “managed to capture key elements” of the network, which was directly involved in the Jazan incident, earlier this year, the statement noted. In addition to the 101 arrests, security forces seized weapons, ammunition, cameras, computers, communications equipment, several prepaid phone cards, cash and various documents.

Security forces also managed to intercept two cells – composed of six members each – that operated independently, but had direct links to the main deviant organization headquartered in Yemen. Twelve men, including 11 Saudis and one Yemeni, were arrested. According to officials, they were in the initial stages of preparing for an attack on oil and security facilities in Eastern Province.