Riyadh- The Saudi Ministry of Interior disclosed on Sunday a scenario to form two terrorist cells for the purpose of targeting security guards as well as more than 60,000 citizens and residents in Jeddah, King Abdullah Sports City Al- Jawhara, also nicknamed The Shining Jewel, during the UAE-Saudi match.
The cells were planning to blast a vehicle in al- Jawhara stadium—some plans were almost fully prepared and just waiting for the zero hour.
According to Saudi Ministry of Interior, there was no link between the two cells and each was operating seperately. However, the common point between them was receiving instructions from ISIS in Syria.
General Bassam Attiyah, an expert in combatting terrorism strategies in the Ministry of Interior, stated that the first cell was composed of four Saudi members mobilized by ISIS to target security guards in several Saudi regions.
Forming Shaqra Cell
“There are common factors among the four members, including their residing region, education, environment, age and the hours they spend daily together,” said Attiyah.
He added that “in 2014, they started to get influenced by ISIS and the caliphate concept. They followed up ISIS media publications, received them passionately and spent long hours watching and analyzing them until they got convinced in the takfiri intellect.”
According to Attiyah, the cell determined six sites for targeting security guards in Dammam, Riyadh and Tabuk. “They first purchased weapons and ammunition and buried it outside Shaqra—then they started to strengthen their ties with ISIS,” he said.
The General said that the second cell was composed of four members—they were planning to target King Abdullah Sports City during the UAE-Saudi match, knowing that the stadium has more than 60,000 seats with parking lots that fit for more than 20,000 vehicles not to mention the mosques, courts and halls.
He also revealed that there was a connection among the members who were directed by an operations’ median in Syria, “roles were distributed and they only had to determine the zero hour to receive the booby trapped car to be used in the blasts… Such an operation would have caused materialistic and human losses, damage to entertainment locations and damage to Saudi youth reputation.”