Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Saudi security forces have announced the arrest of five suspected terrorists, allegedly linked to last February’s foiled suicide car bomb attack on the Abqaiq processing plant, the world’s largest oil processing facility.
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki told Asharq Al-Awsat that
“Investigators are still trying to identify the nature of the support that these five individuals provided the terrorists who were involved in the foiled attack at the Abqaiq processing plant”
The interior ministry’s statement revealed that the arrests were made during a raid on a suspected safe house, “The investigation led us to one of their dens (five days ago) … in the (eastern) Al-Sulai neighborhood in Riyadh and we found 123 bags of explosives weighing more than a tonne and a half,” the statement added.
The statement went on to say that the five suspects were arrested during the aftermath of clashes in another Riyadh neighborhood late February that killed another five-suspected terrorists linked to the attempted attack on the Abqaiq processing plant in Eastern Province.
The attack affected global oil markets because Abqaiq processes most of the kingdom’s crude, making it suitable for export at the nearby Gulf terminals. The kingdom is the world’s largest producer of oil.
In late March, the kingdom said it had arrested 40 suspected Al-Qaeda members, including eight connected to the Abqaiq attack.
Saudi Arabia launched an aggressive anti-terrorism campaign in May 2003, after suicide bombers linked to Al-Qaeda attacked three residential compounds in the capital, Riyadh.
Hundreds have been detained in the campaign, which has managed to capture or kill most of those named on two most-wanted lists.