Riyadh- Saudi interior ministry announced yesterday the arrest of 41-suspected militants, including those captured during a series of simultaneous raids earlier this month in which al-Qaeda”s leader in Saudi Arabia was killed.
An Interior Ministry statement outlined the Aug. 18 operation in Riyadh and Medina, which killed al-Qaeda”s Saudi chief, Saleh Mohammed al-Awfi, and two other militants.
Authorities identified, for the first time, two other militants slain during raids in both cities. One was Majed Hamed Abdullah al-Haasiri, a 29-year-old Saudi who was No. 14 on a list of 36 most wanted terrorists sought for connection to terror attacks in the kingdom dating back to 2003. He was killed in a shootout with police in Riyadh.
The other slain Saudi militant, Mohammed bin Abdullah Awaidhah, died in the same shootout in Medina that also killed al-Qaeda chief al-Awfi.
The statement also provided details about several swoops that netted at least 41 people on July 25 and Aug. 18 in Riyadh, Medina and the northern town of Arar, including non-Saudis. No further details were provided.
According to the statement " On Thursday 18/8/2005, security forces launched simultaneous operations resulting in the arrest of nine of those involved in the activity of the deviant group in Madinah in the beginning. Then also in a exchange of fire in Madinah between the security men and three followers of the deviant thinking, the wanted for security forces Salih bin Mohammad Al Awfi and Mohammad bin Abdullah A”waidhah, Saudi nationals, were killed, a third was injured and arrested, an expatriate was injured and moved to hospital where he received necessary treatment and lance corporal Mohammad bin Moawadh Alshamani Alharbi was injured and later died of his wounds. In the site of the incident, many items were seized including documents, appliance, a sum of money. All together until now, 23 people of difference nationalities have been arrested in Madinah since then.
In Riyadh, One of those belonging to the deviant group was arrested and one was killed. His name was Majid bin Hamid Alhasri. He was on the list of the wanted. In the site, many items were found including machine guns, ammunition, money, appliances, documents. Later another person involved in the matter was arrested.
In A”ra”ar, the security forces arrested two of the members of this group and seized arms and motorcycles used to smuggle people abroad.
The security forces managed to arrest this criminal gang and prevented sinful attacks which were about to occur.
The number of those arrested since the beginning of the operation on Thursday 18/8/2005 reached 28 persons in addition to the 13 who were linked to them and were previously arrested. Interest dictates not to reveal the identities of those arrested.