Saudi security busts Islamist cells

Saudi authorities have broken up seven cells that form the backbone of an armed Islamist network in the kingdom, with barely two cells remaining.

    Saudi authorities have clamped on Islamists following recent blasts

    The Arabic al-Hayat newspaper on Thursday quoting a senior Saudi security source reported that the seven cells were broken up in recent months with "only a small number remaining, accounting for less than two cells." 

      

    The source also said that a Saudi suspect captured last week by Saudi security forces, and officially announced on Wednesday, was a "dangerous" member of the cell that allegedly carried out the 8 November attack on al-Muhaya residential compound in Riyadh, killing 17 people.

      

    The Saudi suspect is also a member of Usama bin Ladin's al-Qaida network, the source added.

     

    Seized

      

    A Saudi interior minister official said in a statement on Wednesday that a Sa-7 missile, four rocket-propelled grenades and a vast quantity of other arms and ammunition were also seized in the suspect's arrest.

      

    On Monday, Saudi Arabia named two of its nationals who it said carried out the al-Muhaya attack.

      

    Two Saudis accused in al-Muhaya
    attack

    The US embassy in Riyadh on Tuesday warned of possible attacks on residential compounds in the kingdom which it said had been actively surveyed by "terrorist elements."

      

    The interior ministry said last week it had foiled a "massive attack" that had the ingredients of al-Muhaya blast, killing two of the "terrorists" in a clash north of the capital.

      

    Al-Qaida purportedly claimed responsibility for al-Muhaya attack in a statement sent by one of its presumed operatives to a Saudi magazine on 11 November.

     

    Saudi Arabia launched a massive crackdown on suspected al-Qaida members after bombings of residential compounds in Riyadh on 12 May that left 35 people dead.

      

    Hundreds of suspected Islamists had been detained and authorities had reported seizing several large arms caches across the vast kingdom in recent months.

    SOURCE: AFP


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