Thursday, 29 November 2007
By Adel Al-Malki
JEDDAH - Security forces Wednesday announced the arrest of 208 people for involvement in several terrorist cells planning attacks on an oil installation as well as scholars and security forces. A cell of eight suspected militants led by an expatriate planning an attack on an oil facility in the Eastern Province was busted.
Another cell - consisting of 22 people advocating and promoting deviant thought - was busted in the ongoing security operation, the source disclosed. Part of the arrested people had formed teams to target scholars and security men.
Another cell was busted led by an infiltrator who is an expert in missile launch. They planned to smuggle eight rockets into the Kingdom. Eighteen people belonging to this cell were caught.
Another 112 people were arrested in different parts of the Kingdom linked to circles abroad engaged in facilitating traveling of the suspects to troubled areas.
In view of the danger of financing of suspicious activities within and outside the Kingdom, the security forces succeeded in monitoring them and later on arrested 32 people - Saudis and expatriates - active in securing financial support to adopt deviant ideology, the security source said.
In Madina, 16 people - who formed a media cell to promote deviant thought and instigate criminal activities - were arrested.
The security source said the cell issued a bulletin which they named the "Echo of the Euphrates" as a replacement for previous publications while another group coordinated the traveling of a group of brainwashed people to fight in areas that witnessed military conflict.
Within these security operations, the security forces seized different communication tools.
Saudi Arabia has foiled at least two major plots since 2006 to hit major oil facilities in the Kingdom.
In April this year, authorities said that more than 170 people were arrested for planning attacks on oil and industrial facilities, including some who had been training as pilots in preparation for possible suicide operations.
Five of the men played a role in an attempt to storm a major oil facility at Abqaiq in February 2006.