Riyadh–The Saudi Interior Ministry announced on Sunday that is has dismantled two terrorist cells that were plotting attacks to assassinate police officers and bomb security and economic facilities.
The ministry also published a list of several more suspects wanted for their alleged involvement in planning attacks in the eastern cities of Al-Qatif and Dammam.
In a news conference on Sunday, Major Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, said a link between those arrested and ISIS cannot be ruled out, adding that it was still early to identity the nature of such relation and the party behind those terrorist cells, whether it was ISIS or Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
The interior ministry spokesman also said that eight Saudis and one Bahraini were found to be involved in terror activities in Al-Qatif governorate and Dammam city. These acts included targeting citizens, expats, security men, and sabotaging public utilities, security and economic facilities.
They were identified as Jafar Bin Hassan Makki Al-Mubeirik, Fadhil Abdullah Muhammad Al Hamadah, Ali Bilal Saud Al Hamad, Muhammad Bin Hussain Ali Al Ammar, Maitham Bin Ali Muhammad Al-Qudaihi, Mufeed Hamza Bin Ali Alwan, Majid Bin Ali Abdul Rahim Al-Faraj, Ayman Ibrahim Hassan Al-Mukhtar, and Hassan Mahmood Ali Abdullah.
The ministry urged the named individuals to turn themselves in to security authorities, and warned “whoever deals with them that he will make himself accountable.”
The Interior Ministry stressed that security authorities were proceeding with their efforts to combat terrorist activities, apprehend those involved, and implement preventive measures to foil terrorist acts on Saudi territories.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia has arrested at least eight suspected extremists plotting killings and a car bombing, the Interior Ministry said, and authorities were pursuing other accomplices.
A ministry statement said those arrested included ISIS suspects who had planned killings of security officials in the Shaqra district north of the capital Riyadh.
Other militants had planned to attack civilians in the eastern city of Qatif and stage a car bomb attack on a visiting United Arab Emirates (UAE) football team at a stadium in the western port city of Jeddah, the statement said.
The statement added the eight arrested suspects included two Pakistanis, a Syrian and a Sudanese.
On Saturday, Houthi militias tried to attack Mecca by launching a missile which was intercepted and destroyed by the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) before it could do any damage – about 65km from the holy city.
Military experts believe that the long-range ballistic missile was launched from 500km over the border and was intercepted before it reached Mecca.
Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, advisor at the minister of Defense’s office, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Houthis’ operations on the Saudi border are not over. He explained that they will continue to try to infiltrate into the kingdom’s territories and launch ballistic missiles, but the RSAF will always be prepared to intercept.