Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Major General Mansur al-Turki, official spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Interior, revealed that of the 172 terrorists the ministry had announced arresting recently , 132 are Saudis, while the remaining 40 are foreign nationals, whose nationalities he did not specify.
Al-Turki told Asharq al-Awsat that the Saudi Government has notified the countries whose military bases were being targeted of the intentions of those groups, and that it informed the countries in which the terrorists had received pilot training of that training. This all comes in light of Saudi Arabia’s announcement yesterday that it apprehended seven terrorist cells.
He explained that Saudi Arabia is keen on fulfilling its role before the entire world “and is cooperating with all countries in combating terrorism.”
Major General Al-Turki said that the government “has been in contact with the countries whose military bases were being targeted by the armed groups, the countries in which those had received pilot training, and the countries in which those groups had received field training.” He expected those countries to reciprocate and provide Saudi Arabia with any information they might have on plans and schemes being hatched on their lands against the kingdom.
The Interior Ministry’s official spokesman noted that members of one of the terrorist cells had received pilot training in secure countries, while members of the remaining cells had received field training in turbulent countries.
The Saudi Interior Ministry announced the day before yesterday the arrest of seven terrorist cells consisting of 172 elements who were planning acts of sabotage inside the country and abroad — including sabotage operations outside the kingdom.
Al-Turki refused to accuse the countries that the cells came from of failing in their security duties after they had failed to uncover schemes targeting the country’s security, and said: “We are not pointing fingers at any of the countries that the armed groups resided in as they plotted their attacks on Saudi Arabia, because some cases are hard to expose in secure countries. As for the turbulent countries, their situation definitely does not help them expose the deviant sect’s exploitation of their lands.”
Major General Mansur al-Turki asserted that the arrests of the cells and the confiscation of large sums of money and huge quantities of weapons and munitions was a purely Saudi effort, and said that his country did not receive any intelligence support from any country whatsoever.
The Interior Ministry’s official spokesman maintained that the assassinations that the terrorist groups were planning did not target specific individuals, and said: “These people do not have any known hit lists because the assassinations they were planning did not target specific individuals, but were meant to spread chaos and a sense of insecurity in our society.”
Major General Al-Turki admitted difficulties in tying the weapons confiscated from the terrorists to the operations they were planning, and said: “Cells like these tend to acquire anything they believe can cause damage and trigger chaos, and they train themselves on using new tools. It is difficult to determine what sort of operations those tools were meant for because they were arming themselves for all kinds of terrorist attacks.”
Al-Turki described the arrests as “broad operations” that covered the entire kingdom, and attributed this [geographic expanse] to the diversion tactics employed by these elements through their movement between Saudi cities. In closing, Major General Al-Turki pointed out that the detainees are still being interrogated, and said: “We are not in a situation to say that all the elements linked to these cells have been apprehended.”