Saudi Arabia arrests 93 with ISIS links, foils US embassy terror plot

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Apr 29, 2015 09:41 IST

Saudi Arabia has arrested 93 people, including a woman, with links to the Islamic State and foiled a plot to carry out a suicide car bomb attack on the US embassy in Riyadh, the Saudi interior ministry has said.

The suspected terrorists affiliated with IS were arrested since December 2014 and were planning attacks in Saudi Arabia. The authorities also foiled several IS attempts to assassinate several members of the military, the interior ministry said in a statement.

On March 13, Saudi authorities discovered a plot by a Saudi national and two Syrians living in a Gulf country to carry out a suicide car bomb attack on the US Embassy in Riyadh, interior ministry spokesman Maj Gen Mansour Al-Turki said.

The following day, the Saudi and one of the Syrian plotters, who had entered Saudi Arabia, were arrested. "The investigation in the plot is ongoing," Al-Turki said.

Most of those detained were Saudis.

Among those held is a 65-strong IS-linked group, including a Palestinian and a Yemeni, plotting to attack "residential complexes and incite sectarian strife" similar to the November 3, 2014 attack in Al-Dalwah village in the Eastern Province that killed seven members of the minority Shia community, the statement said.

The group was recruiting young people, disseminating IS propaganda, securing safe houses and establishing training areas. It was also involved in illegal fund raising.

Fifteen Saudis who formed the group "Jund Bilad al-Haramain", or Soldiers of the Land of the Two Holy Mosques in reference to Saudi Arabia, were also arrested, the spokesman said.

This cell was led by an explosives expert and was testing car bombs to target security headquarters, soldiers and residential areas.

Another Saudi explosives expert arrested on January 31 had acknowledged pledging allegiance to IS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and that he was making improvised explosive devices to attack security personnel.

Security agencies also arrested a cell of nine Saudi nationals, including a woman, which was using social media to try to recruit youngsters and facilitate their travel to conflict zones.

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