THE Kingdom has dismantled four Daesh (the so-called IS) cells with the arrest of 18 suspected members of the terrorist organization. Fifteen of the arrested were Saudi citizens while the remaining three included two Yemenis and one Sudanese national, according to Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, security spokesman of the Ministry of Interior.
Al-Turki said in s statement on Thursday that huge cache of arms and more than two million riyals were seized from the suspects. The arrests were made in preemptive operations that started on Feb. 11 in the regions of Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh and Al-Qassim.
Brig. Gen. Bassam Al-Atiyyah, an official of the Ministry of Interior, said that Iran’s role is well-known and obvious in triggering chaos in the region. “Iran is supporting many terrorist acts, whether they are linked directly or indirectly with Daesh or any other terrorist organizations,” he said while addressing a joint press conference with Al-Turki to announce the dismantling of four terrorist cells in Riyadh on Thursday evening.
Al-Atiyyah said Daesh terrorists are attempting to recruit people from all segments of the society and at all levels. “The arrested 18 people included a teacher, trader, company employee and the unemployed,” he said.
Al-Turki said that the terror suspects were apprehended following five-day long massive security operations covering four regions.
The following are the arrested terror suspects: Ibrahim Saleh Al-Zahrani, Khaled Abdurahman Sharaheeli, Raji Abdu Ali Hassan, Saeed Saleh Al-Zahrani, Sulaiman Ibrahim Al-Fouzan, Saleh Ali Al-Shalash, Atef Sawab Al-Shahri, Abdul Aziz Muhammad Al-Suwaid, Abdullah Ibrahim Al-Odaibi, Abdullah Hamoud Al-Odaibi, Abdullah Muhammad Al-Mutairi,Abdul Malik Hamad Al-Fuhaid, Muhammad Hamad Al-Fuhaid, Moajal Ibrahim Al-Fouzan, Muhannid Hamad Al-Otaibi, Ayman Omar Moqbil (Yemeni), Khaled Ahmad Bajaafar (Yemeni), and Mazen Al-Ameen Muhammad (Sudanese).
Al-Turki said that the arrested suspects were involved in several terror activities. These included giving shelter to wanted terrorists, including Tayea Salem Yaslam Al-Sayari, Khaled Ghazi Al-Sarwani and Nadi Marzouq Anzi. Al-Sayari, who was wanted for plotting an attack on the Prophet’s Mosque last year, was killed in a shootout with the security forces at his hideout in Al-Yasmin district in Riyadh on Jan. 7. Al-Sayari was killed along with Talal Bin Samran Al-Saedi, another Saudi terrorist, in the shootout.
Al-Sarwani and Anzi blew themselves up following a confrontation with security forces in Jeddah’s Al-Harazat district on Jan. 21. The security forces surrounded the rest house in Al-Harazat and exchanged fire with two men, who blew themselves up. The arrested Daesh suspects performed different roles including logistical operations and recruitment, as well as providing shelter and financial support to the militants.
Al-Turki said the terror suspects had experience in making explosives and suicide vests. They were also found involved in spreading the Daesh ideology through the Internet, recruiting people for Daesh and luring them to take part in fighting in conflict zones, providing training to suicide bombers.
On Jan. 21, the security forces foiled major terror attempts by storming two terror hideouts in Jeddah. In the security operation in Al-Naseem district, a Saudi national Hussam Bin Saleh Bin Samran Al-Juhani and a Pakistani woman Fatimah Ramzan Balochi Ali Murad were arrested. The security forces seized a machine-gun and a bag of explosives.
Daesh has carried out a series of bombings and shootings in the Kingdom since mid-2014 that have killed scores of people. The Ministry of Interior thwarted a number of terrorist operations by carrying out preemptive strikes. It also arrested a large number of Daesh supporters and sympathizers.
Earlier, preemptive strikes led to the arrest of 566 terrorists forming eight terror cells. They included six women (five Saudi and one Filipina), five experts in manufacturing explosives and explosive vests. Six labs for manufacturing explosive were also busted. Two years ago, the ministry announced the dismantling of splinter cells linked to Daesh with the arrest of 431 terrorists forming four cells. This resulted in thwarting 10 terror operation attempts. The same year, two terror locations in Riyadh region were busted. In another operation six terror suspects were arrested.