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Saudi Arabia foils ISIS terrorist attack: official
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Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour Turki gestures during a news conference in Riyadh March 24, 2013. (REUTERS)

Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour Turki gestures during a news conference in Riyadh March 24, 2013. (REUTERS)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi security forces have foiled a terrorist attack by militants affiliated to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Interior Ministry spokesman announced.

The “terrorist operation” would have seen seven car bombs target different sites across the Kingdom, with Riyadh also announcing that one of the suspects arrested later admitted to killing two police officers at a checkpoint in the Saudi capital earlier this month.

In comments carried by the state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki announced that 23-year old Yazid Mohammad Abdulrahman Abu Nayan was arrested in connection with the death of Pvt. Thamer Omran Al-Mutairi and Pvt. Abdulmohsen Khalaf Al-Mutairi, describing the attack as a “heinous crime.”

“When interrogated and confronted with the evidence, he [Abu Nayan] admitted that he carried out the shooting and said he was executing instructions he received from the terrorist organization ISIS,” Maj. Gen. Turki said.

Nayan had been working with another suspect, said to have a Moroccan accent, and received orders to attack the security patrol on film, while the two men had also received assistance from other alleged ISIS members.

“ISIS instructed them to carry out the attack,” Maj. Gen. Turki said.

Abu Nayan was arrested at a farm at Al-Awained Center in the Huraimela district north of Riyadh, the SPA report said. The Interior Ministry spokesman affirmed that “intensive investigations” are ongoing, and that Saudi security forces have confiscated arms, ammunition and explosives from the scene.

Saudi security authorities also confirmed that seven vehicles were uncovered at the farm, three of which were already in the process of being booby-trapped for the terrorist operation.

As for evidence of ties to ISIS, outside of Abu Nayan’s confession, Saudi authorities discovered cell phones at the scene including text messages between the suspects and ISIS in Syria.

“Of these messages, once includes confirmation of the attack. Another message instructs the perpetrators [in Saudi Arabia] to hide and stay out of sight,” Turki said.

Saudi authorities are still on the lookout for Nawaf Sharif Al-Anzi, who was implicated in the terrorist operations. Riyadh has placed a one million riyal bounty on the alleged ISIS member.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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