Saudi Arabia uncovers three Isis terror cells, arrests 17

Terror network with links to the extremist group uncovered in months-long sting operation 

Tuesday 20 September 2016 14:37 BST

Seventeen people have been arrested for involvement in Isis cells which carried out past attacks and are planning future ones in the kingdom, Saudi police have said.

Eleven of the suspects are Saudi, including the only woman, as well as three Yemenis, two Egyptians and one Palestinian.

The individuals were planning future attacks on civilians and against security personnel and government sites, Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour al-Turki told reporters in Riyadh on Monday.

The three cells were preparing improvised explosives and suicide vests for four planned attacks as well as providing logistics, funding, and transportation for other terror acts. 20 kilograms of explosives, weapons and other ammunition were confiscated from one of the cells, as well as 600,000 Saudi Riyals (£123,000).

One of the cells had been involved in the assassination of a Saudi government officer, and sheltered one of the culprits behind the January attack on a mosque in al-Ahsa which killed four and left 18 injured, police said.

Maj. Gen al-Turki said all three of the groups were in touch with “leaders abroad” for their activities.

Saudi Arabia has suffered from several terrorist incidents linked to Isis since the group's leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi urged followers to attack the kingdom in April 2015.

They are mainly targeted at Shiite citizens and government or military personnel.

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