Saudi Arabia arrests 88 men in al-Qaeda cell for planning attacks abroad

Sarah Spickernell
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The suspects were monitored for a number of months prior to the arrests (Source: Getty)
A Saudi security official confirmed today that police have arrested 88 men suspected of plotting to carry out attacks both inside and outside the kingdom.
They are thought to be part of an al-Qaeda ring “on the verge of carrying out operations” according to the country's interior ministry.
Three of the men are from Yemen, one's nationality has not yet been identified, and the rest are from Saudi Arabia itself. Prior to the arrests, they were being monitored for a number of months.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki said the arrests were made over the past several days and that Saudi forces "are serious in tracking down" anyone who joins a terrorist group.
Hi did not divulge any details of the alleged plots, but he said 59 of the men had previously been imprisoned for similar offences.
"It is unfortunate that some of those who had completed their sentences and were released by court orders returned to their previous ways," he said.
In Saudi Arabia it is illegal for citizens to fight as militants abroad, and King Abdullah warned over the weekend that extremists could attack western countries if a strong international response to terrorism was not launched.
His comment refers to the increasing threat posed by the Islamic State (IS). Saudi Arabia has increased its security measures in response to advances made by the extremist group in northern Iraq and Syria.

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