Nine Americans Among Terror Suspects Arrested in Saudi Arabia
February 2, 2016
RT News & Mishal Al-Otaibi / Saudi Gazette & Angus McDowall / Reuters
Nine US citizens have been arrested on terror charges in Saudi Arabia, local media report. The Americans were among a total of 33 terror suspects detained over the past week. The arrests come following a string of attacks against Shia targets claimed by Sunni jihadists that have killed 50 people over the past year. US officials, however, said on Sunday they did not believe nine US citizens were among 33 suspects detained on terrorism charges.
Nine Americans Among Terror
Suspects Arrested in Saudi Arabia -- Report
(January 31, 2016) -- Nine US citizens have been arrested on terror charges in Saudi Arabia, local media report. The Americans were among a total of 33 terror suspects detained over the past week.
The arrests come following a string of attacks against Shia targets claimed by Sunni jihadists that have killed 50 people over the past year.
Among the suspects are 14 Saudi citizens, nine Americans, three Yemenis, two Syrians, a Filipino, an Indonesian, a citizen of Kazakhstan, a Palestinian, and a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Gazette, an English-language daily, reported on Sunday, referencing an unnamed source.
Two US officials have told Reuters that Washington cannot immediately confirm that American citizens are among the 33 suspects. However, one of the officials said that US authorities are still checking the names against their databases.
Riyadh declared Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) a terrorist organization in 2014. In July of 2015 alone, Saudi Arabia announced the arrest of 431 suspected members of the terrorist group.
IS responded with a series of terror acts, performed mostly by suicide bombers. The latest attack took place last Friday, when a bombing and shooting attack on a Shia mosque in the al-Ahsa district of Eastern Province left at least four people dead and 18 injured.
Saudi Police Arrest 9 American
'Terror' Suspects ... -- News JS
[Note: Site recently has been disabled]
SR 5 Million Bounty on
9 Terrorists on the Run
Mishal Al-Otaibi / Saudi Gazette
RIYADH (February 1, 2016) -- Nine Saudis involved in the August 2015 attack on a mosque used by Interior Ministry special forces in Abha are still on the run, an Interior Ministry security spokesman announced here on Sunday.
Eleven security men and four Bangladeshi workers were killed and 33 others were injured when a suicide bomber struck the mosque in the headquarters of the Special Emergency Force in Abha, the capital of Asir province.
The ministry also revealed the details of the various stages suicide bomber Yousuf Sulaiman Abdullah Al-Sulaiman, a Saudi national, passed through prior to the attack.
The spokesman said that anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of any one of the wanted terrorists will be rewarded with SR1 million, as per the Royal Decree issued on Nov. 20, 2003. The reward increases to SR5 million if more than one wanted persons are arrested. The reward reaches SR7 million if the information provided helps in foiling a terrorist attack.
The ministry also revealed identities of those who were accomplices in the Abha mosque attack who included a soldier named Salah Al-Shahrani.
Suicide bomber Al-Sulaiman had connections with the terrorist group, two hide-outs of which which were busted in Al-Mounisiya district of Riyadh and in Dhrumah governorarte. The terrorist group provided him shelter in an apartment in Al-Falah district when he came to Riyadh from Al-Jouf.
After this apartment was busted by the security forces, Al-Sulaiman's helpers shifted him to another location in Dhrumah where he was given training on wearing and using explosive belts.
After his training, Al-Sulaiman was shifted from Riyadh to Asir by Saudi national Fahad Falah Al-Harbi, whose arrest was announced on Sept. 29, 2015.
On the day of the bombing Al-Sulaiman was taken to the mosque by a soldier in the Special Emergency Force in Asir named Salah Al-Shahrani, who was influenced by the deviant ideology of his wanted uncle Saeed Ayedh Saeed Al-Daer Al-Shahrani.
Salah Al-Shahrani betrayed his fellow security men by helping the terrorist. He was later arrested along with two other Saudi nationals -- Fuad Muhammad Yahya Al-Dahawi and Saleh Fahad Dhakeel Al-Diraan -- who were involved in the Abha mosque attack. Nine other Saudi nationals involved in the attack are in hiding, said the Interior Ministry spokesman.
Americans Not Believed among Militants
Detained by Saudis -- US Officials
Angus McDowall / Reuters
RIYADH (February 1, 2016) -- US officials said on Sunday they did not believe nine US citizens were among 33 suspects detained on terrorism charges in Saudi Arabia over the past week, as reported by a Saudi newspaper.
The English-language daily Saudi Gazette, citing an unnamed source, on Sunday reported that four Americans were detained last Monday, followed by another five in the following days. Saudi authorities also detained 14 Saudis, three Yemenis, two Syrians, an Indonesian, a Filipino, a United Arab Emirates citizen, a Palestinian and a citizen of Kazakhstan, the report said.
Six US officials told Reuters that the US government could not confirm that any Americans were among the 33 suspects detained. However, two officials said US authorities were still checking names against databases. Saudi authorities were also investigating the citizenship of those detained, one of the officials said.
None of the US officials was authorized to speak publicly, and the US embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Saudi Arabia in 2014 declared Islamic State a terrorist organisation and has detained hundreds of its supporters. The group, which controls territory in Iraq and Syria, has staged a series of attacks in the kingdom.
On Friday an attack at a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in Saudi Arabia's al-Ahsa district in Eastern Province killed four people and injured 18, the latest in a string of attacks claimed by Sunni jihadists that have left over 50 dead in the past year.
The website of the Interior Ministry's militant rehabilitation centre listed four US citizens as having been detained on January 25 and four more over the previous three months. It did not list any more recent detentions.
The Interior Ministry spokesman directed Reuters to the website, which gives information on all people detained as militant suspects, but gave no further comment.
The ministry on Saturday identified one of the attackers in al-Ahsa as 22-year-old Abdulrahman al-Tuwaijri, a Saudi citizen, who detonated an explosive vest outside the Imam Rida mosque in the Mahasen district of Hofuf in al-Ahsa.
A 27-year-old was also arrested wearing an explosive vest and carrying hand grenades when members of the mosque's congregation seized him after he fired shots at them during the attack, the ministry said.
Attacks by supporters of Islamic State in Saudi Arabia include two bombings and two mass shootings at Shi'ite mosques. A mosque used by Sunni security services was also bombed
The Saudi clergy have denounced the group as "kharijites", an early Islamic sect reviled by Muslims for its extreme ideology.
(Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball and Andrea Shalal in Washington)
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