(Al Arabiya News)-Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said on Tuesday it had arrested 88 individuals, mostly Saudis, with suspected foreign terror links.
“Security apparatuses, over a period of several months, monitored all the suspects, particularly those with extremist ideologies,” a Ministry statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency said.
The Ministry’s spokesperson Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turkey, speaking at a news conference following the announcement, said the suspects were detained “for having links with terror groups outside the Kingdom,” adding that a number had sent their children to fight alongside groups abroad.
“They [the suspects] were on the verge of committing acts of terrorism both in Saudi Arabia and abroad,” al-Turki said.
An Interior Ministry statement said the arrests came following month of surveillance.
“Security apparatuses, over a period of several months, monitored all the suspects, particularly those with extremist ideologies,” the statement said.
“Months of monitoring and security observations provided evidence to detain the suspects and thwart the plans that they were on the verge of carrying out both inside and abroad,” it added.
The 88 were apprehended in a series of recent raids in several areas of the country, it said, adding that 59 had been detained on previous occasions.
The Ministry spokesman said the detained had formed six different cells located in four different parts of the country, including Makkah and Ha’il. All the cells had plotted to carry out assassination of figures, he said, adding that the largest was composed of 51 members.
During the news conference, he clarified that the evidence that paved the way for the arrests included the suspects’ extremist ideologies as well as the indoctrination of young Saudis into their own ideology.