Saudi Arabia has arrested 93 ‘jihadists’, most of them linked to the ISIL group, and has foiled several plots to carry out attacks across the kingdom, authorities said Tuesday.
The arrests have taken place since December and most of those detained were Saudis, the interior ministry said in a statement published by the official news agency SPA.
Security services had proof that led to the “early uncovering of terrorist activities in several parts of the kingdom by members of the deviant group”, the statement said.
Among those held is a 65-strong ISIL-linked group plotting to target “residential areas, and operations to incite sectarian sedition” in attacks similar to the killing of seven civilians in Eastern Province in November, it said.
The group includes a Palestinian, a Syrian and two stateless people, it added.
Another 15 Saudis formed a group calling itself “Jund Bilad al-Haramain”, or Soldiers of the Land of the Two Holy Mosques in reference to Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, the ministry said.
It said that cell was led by a bomb-making “specialist” and was testing car bombs, planning to attack security headquarters, soldiers and residential areas.
Authorities said they have also arrested two Syrians and a Saudi who had threatened to launch a suicide car attack against the American embassy in Riyadh last month.
US consular services in Saudi Arabia were suspended for a week in March over “heightened security concerns”.