Saudi Arabia Arrests 93 Terror Suspects, Foils Attack on US Embassy
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of 93 terror suspects, including those with ties to Daash (ISIS). Two of the suspects were linked to a foiled suicide car bombing that targeted the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh in March.
Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Mansour Al-Turki outlined the following:
On Dec. 31, 2014, 15 Saudi citizens were arrested for forming a terror cell called “Soldiers of the Land of the Two Holy Mosques.” The cell belongs to Daesh. Meetings were held in remote areas outside the Al-Qassim region, where they received explosive and weapons training to target security locations, remote areas and security and military personnel.
On Jan. 31, 2015, a Saudi citizen was arrested in Al-Qassim. He was also linked to Daesh and was an explosives expert. He acknowledged in his statements that he had pledged allegiance to Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and confessed to his involvement in social media activities promoting terrorism, including disseminating methods of manufacturing explosives and inciting propaganda for terrorist acts.
On March 8, 2015, 65 people linked to Daesh were arrested, including 61 Saudi citizens, a Palestinian, a Yemeni and two unidentified nationals. Suspects were arrested for links with Daesh and for provoking sectarian tension, as well as for targeting security forces and attacking General Intelligence prisons.
Nine Saudi citizens were arrested for promoting terrorist activities through social media, including broadcasting terror propaganda and luring youth for terror activities. Among the suspects was a woman who was used in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate a military personnel.
On March 13, 2015, authorities uncovered a potential suicide car bombing on the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh involving three individuals, a Saudi national and two Syrian nationals residing in a Gulf state. Security authorities took security precautions at the embassy and the surrounding area. Information indicated that one of the Syrians had already entered Saudi Arabia. Security agencies initiated an intensive search that resulted in the arrest of two suspects on March 14, 2015 including the Syrian who entered the Kingdom on March 11, 2015. The second suspect, a Saudi national, was active in raising money illegally. Investigations are continuing.
- A Saudi citizen with a criminal history was arrested in Al-Baha Province. Bomb-making materials were confiscated from his car when he was detained for reckless driving. The preliminary investigations indicated that he was influenced by Daesh’s online propaganda.
Authorities stressed that public cooperation continues to be critical to the government’s efforts to prevent terror attacks in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia continues to develop innovative and effective strategies to go after the men, money and mindset that support terrorism and extremism.