Saudi Arabia: 17 Arrested For Links To Islamic State, Planning Attacks


By Mohammed Al-Sulami

Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said on Monday that 17 suspects had been arrested, one of them a Saudi woman.

Fourteen of the suspects were Saudis, and the others a Yemeni, a Palestinian and an Egyptian.

The 17 were part of three separate cells linked to Daesh.

According to the ministry, they were planning to target scholars, security forces, and oil and military facilities.

The security operations resulted in the seizure of high explosive devices, including sticky bombs; explosive belts ready for detonation, metal pipes used as explosive devices, automatic weapons, silencers, live ammunition and a sum of money exceeding SR600,000.

“Almighty Allah enabled the security authorities, together with citizens and resident, to foil all plots,” said Al-Turki. They were arrested in security operations, which stretched over several months.

“The cells were in advanced stages of preparation of construction of explosive belts and explosive devices for use in criminal operations,” said Al-Turki.

“Members of the criminal cells were providing shelter to those wanted by the security forces and helping them with money, weapons and transportation.”

The cell members were involved in monitoring or observing the targeted sites, providing electronic and media support to Daesh, and communicating with Daesh leaders outside the Kingdom, he said.

The 17 criminals have been identified as Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed Al-Banawi Asiri (Saudi), Osama Abdullah Sarsour (Palestinian), Ismail Saadi Al-Bishri (Saudi), Hamad Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mousa (Saudi), Khaled Meshaal Khaled Al-Otaibi (Saudi), Kholoud Mohammed Mansour Al-Rukaibi (Saudi), Khaled Ahmed Saad Al-Malik (Saudi), Sultan Bakheet Bandar Al-Otaibi (Saudi), Abdul Rahman Fares Amer Al-Marri (Yemeni), Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al-Tuwairish (Saudi), Abdullah Saleh Salman Al-Shammari (Saudi), Omar Abdu Abdul Hamid Al-Zoghbi (Egyptian), Mohammed Fahad Mohammed Al-Qahtani (Saudi), Mohammed Ahmad Mohammed Al-Ahmari (Saudi), Nasser Mohammed Mansour Al-Rukaibi (Saudi), Naif Nafe Hakeem Al-Bishri (Saudi), Nassar Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mosa (Saudi).

Al-Turki said security operations had resulted in preventing four organized militant operations that were in advanced stages of preparation.

Al-Turki said the first operation, dated 13/05/1437, targeted one person from the Ministry of Defense in Riyadh; an explosive device was to be attached to his car.

The second operation was to target training cadets at a public security site by placing an explosive device at the gate. The device was to be detonated by remote control on 05/15/1437.

The third operation was the delivery of two suicide vests on 16/05/1437 AH.

The fourth operation was the prevention of a suicide bombing and the arrest of the bomber, Nassar Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mosa. In his possession were an explosive belt and an explosive device.

The bomber was preparing for an operation after monitoring religious sites in Al-Ahsa and military sites belonging to the Ministry of the National Guard. He had sent the coordinates of the sites to the organization abroad for selection and assigned Friday, dated 17/5/1437, as the date for implementation. He was also monitoring Imam Raza Mosque that was targeted on 19/04/1437.

Preliminary investigations revealed the involvement of the cells in a number of crimes, including:

1. Harboring the perpetrators of the bombing of Imam Raza Mosque in Al-Ahsa. The detainee, Talha Hashim Mohammed Abdo (Egyptian) and the suicide bomber, Abdul Rahman Abdullah Al-Tuwaijri, were provided with two suicide vests and trained how to use them. Automatic weapons were secured for them and they were then transferred to Al-Ahsa to carry out the operation.

2. Blowing up a car belonging to a member of the security forces in the Aziziyah district of Riyadh on 29/04/1437 with an explosive device.

3. Monitoring a security checkpoint on the road to Al-Ha’ir in Riyadh which was targeted on the night of Eid Al-Fitr 1436 by the suicide bomber, Abdullah Fahad Abdullah Al-Rashid.

4. Participation in a failed attempt to blow up the oil pipeline north of Labkhah and Hoitah in Dawadmi, carried out by the detainee, Iqab Al-Otaibi and Adel Almajmaj who was killed in Wadi Al-Numan on 28/07/1437.

5. Coordination with detainee, Osama Ahmed Al-Rajhi (Yemeni) who was the killer of Brig. Ahmad Al-Asiri as announced on 05/06/1437 before committing his crime.

6. Monitoring scholars and security centers targeted by militant operations that did not go beyond the preparatory stages.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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