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General Al-Turki: Terrorist Attacks were Planned Abroad, Suicide Bombers are Just a Tool | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The explosion near the mosque in Madinah sent smoke pouring into the sky. Reuters

Riyadh-The terrorist attacks that targeted the Prophet’s Mosque, Jeddah and Qatif, were orchestrated by ISIS in Syria in its usual attempts to attack Saudi Arabia, informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The sources said on Tuesday that ISIS members inside the Kingdom had no choice but to execute these operations, particularly that the explosive belts were prepared for them ahead of time.

The source said that the security authorities have already started questioning a number of suspects who had been previously arrested, including the family of the Pakistani national living in Jeddah.

The sources added in a telephone call with Asharq Al-Awsat that Saudi Arabia has been subjected to more than 35 terrorist operations in several parts of the country.

The sources said the masterminds of the terrorist attacks that are currently in Syria had chosen the people who would execute the operations from outside the region, and had provided them with the transportation means and the explosive belts. According to the sources, planners of the attacks use the weak religious feelings of the suicide bombers by filling their heads with poisonous ideologies.

The sources also said that ISIS leaders in Syria do not want at the present time to lure militants, who were led astray with extremist ideas, to fight with ISIS in Syria, but rather to force them to execute terrorist activities inside Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Mansour Al-Turki, security spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of the Interior, told Asharq Al-Awsat that preliminary investigations showed the presence of coordination between the terrorist operations in each of Medina and Qatif, as suicide bombers had the same target, which is the mosque, and the same timing, when mosques were packed with worshipers who were performing the evening prayers, after breaking their fast.

Al-Turki asserted the terrorist operations were orchestrated by ISIS leaders in Syria, while security authorities are now working on reaching the people who lured the suicide bombers to execute the attacks, and those who had transported them to the areas where the suicide bombings had taken place.

The security spokesperson said that investigations conducted on previous terrorist operations show that the suicide bombers in each of Medina and Qatif did not know the timing or place of their operations in order not to be uncovered. Al-Turki said the terrorist attacks happen following coordination between masterminds from abroad and those inside Saudi Arabia.

Al-Turki said: “We will be able to reach them, in the same way we had arrested their leaders in the governorate of Dhruma where we had confiscated explosive belts.”

He said that the terrorist operation in Jeddah, which was executed by Pakistani suicide bomber Abdullah Qalzar Khan, 35, aimed at driving the attention of security officials in order to execute other terrorist operations elsewhere.

Al-Turki uncovered that the operation in Qatif could have been a dual suicidal bombing plot, but said: “Thanks to God, it was unsuccessful.”

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud met on Tuesday with the families of the security officials who were killed in the terrorist operation at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. The Crown Prince conveyed the condolences of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the families.