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Al-Ahsa attackers received funding from abroad: security source | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi citizens walk by a sign saying, “Terrorism will not divide us.” (Asharq Al-Awsat/Issa Al-Dossaini)

Saudi citizens walk by a sign saying, “Terrorism will not divide us.” (Asharq Al-Awsat/Issa Al-Dossaini)

Saudi citizens walk by a sign saying, “Terrorism will not divide us.” (Asharq Al-Awsat/Issa Al-Dossaini)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—The alleged perpetrators of last week’s attack on a Shi’ite meeting house in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahsa province received funds from abroad just days before they carried out the operation, an informed source within the Kingdom’s security apparatus told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Speaking by telephone, the source—who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media—said that investigations into the bank accounts of suspects arrested last Wednesday in the Al-Qassim province as part of a country-wide counterterror operation showed that the suspects had received money from both foreign and domestic sources shortly before the attack, but declined to give further details on the source of the funds.

Weapons and cash had also been found during the arrests on Wednesday, the source said, adding that those apprehended were part of a terror cell that was planning further attacks on Saudi soil.

Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told Asharq Al-Awsat that as of Saturday morning, Saudi security forces had arrested a total of 33 suspects in counterterror raids across the country in connection with the attack last Monday, which saw masked gunmen opening fire on worshipers at a Shi’ite Husseiniya (meeting house), killing seven Saudi citizens.

Turki added that more arrests would likely follow, and that investigations into those already apprehended remained ongoing.

Meanwhile, the security source speaking by telephone said that in addition to the 33 suspects mentioned by Turki another two had been arrested on Saturday evening in the country’s Eastern Province, bringing the total number of those arrested in connection with the attack to 35.

The source added that all those arrested so far were Saudi citizens, and that some of them had been previously engaged in fighting in regional conflicts, with others also having previous criminal convictions within Saudi Arabia, some of whom had remained wanted by the authorities until the recent arrests.

“This terror cell’s criminal plans have now been completely thwarted,” the source said, adding that its members had been able to secure lodging and funds, and that those involved were “fully aware that some of their colleagues had been involved in previous terror operations and wanted by the security services, and that by concealing them from the authorities they were putting themselves in danger.”

The source added: “The country’s security apparatus remains completely vigilant, ready to intercept with full force all those who seek to spread chaos within [Saudi] society, especially considering what is happening in counties neighboring Saudi Arabia during this period.”