Saudi Arabia Thwarts ISIS Plot against Defense Ministry

Saudi Arabia Thwarts ISIS Plot against Defense Ministry

Tuesday, 12 September, 2017 - 05:45
One of the explosives belts discovered with the would-be suicide bombers arrested by Saudi security. (SPA)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The presidency of the Saudi Arabian state security agency revealed on Monday that it had thwarted a plot by the ISIS terrorist group against two Defense Ministry positions in the capital Riyadh.

It also announced the arrest of members of an “intelligence cell” that was working for “foreign sides” in order to “create strife” in Saudi society.

The discovery of the ISIS plot is the first security achievement that is declared by the recently activated state security agency.

Saudi authorities did not disclose the identity of the “foreign sides” that the conspirators were working for, but it did say that the suspects were Saudis and foreign nationals.

The ISIS cell meanwhile included two Yemenis, who possessed explosives belts. They have been identified as Ahmed Yasser al-Kaldi and Ammar Ali Mohammed. Two Saudis were also detained in connection to them. The security agency also released photographs of the detained suspects and the weapons it confiscated in their possession.

According to an official statement, the would-be suicide bombers were arrested as they were headed to their target. They were detained with guns, knives, explosives belts and nine home-made hand grenades in their possession. A training camp for the suicide bombers was also discovered in the Rimal neighborhood in Riyadh.

Investigations are ongoing with the suspects and more details about the case will be revealed at a later time.

A source from the state security agency revealed that the cell that was aimed at creating strife in the Kingdom had a long history in suspicious acts that are harmful to the country’s security and national unity.

The cell has been neutralized and its members have been arrested at various stages. Investigations are ongoing with them to reveal all of their activities and collaborators.

Information obtained so far indicated that the cell sought to directly or indirectly incite against Saudi Arabia and its official figures. Its members had frequently taken part in suspicious seminars and conferences where they had recruited youths for their hostile causes.

The source added that the cell had prior records in such suspicious activity and its members had been warned to cease them.