Saudi Arabia says arrests 17 IS plotters
September 19, 2016 | 7:14 PM
by Reuters

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has arrested 17 suspected IS sympathisers accused of plotting attacks on religious officials, security forces, civilian districts and economic and military targets, the interior ministry said on Monday.

Fourteen of those arrested are Saudi nationals, including one woman, ministry spokesman Mansour Al Turki told state television news channel Ekhbariya, which broadcast photographs of the accused.

The other three detainees were Yemeni, Egyptian and Palestinian, he said.

"The activities of this network went beyond the kingdom's borders to provide technical and media support for Daesh (IS)," said Turki.

The cells had planned attacks on targets including the Al Rida mosque in the eastern Saudi city of Al Ahsa, a public security training facility in Riyadh and an oil pipeline west of the capital city, said Turki.

They also conspired to plant an explosive device on the car of an employee of the Ministry of Defence in Riyadh.

The arrests followed months of investigation into the network, Turki said, adding that the militants had prepared more than 25,000 kg of adhesive bombs and explosive belts.

Authorities also seized pipe bombs, firearms, silencers and cash in excess of 600,000 riyals ($160,000).

Local Saudi affiliates of the IS group have carried out several deadly shootings and bombings in the kingdom, many targeting security personnel and mosques.

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