Posted by: Rehan Today | March 25, 2010

Saudi breaks up 113-strong Qaeda cell: Saudi Ministry


RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has broken up three cells of Al-Qaeda militants that were planning attacks in the kingdom, including on its oil installations, the interior ministry said on Wednesday.

One cell consisted of 113 people, and two smaller cells were made up of six men each. The large cell comprised 58 Saudis and 55 foreigners, including Yemenis, Somali, a Bangladeshi and a Eritrean, said a statement read out on state television.

The two smaller groups were made up of 11 Saudis and a Yemeni.

Arms, ammunition, computers, pre-paid telephone cards and unspecified documents were all seized in the operation.

The large cell was discovered as the result of an investigation launched after suspected Al-Qaeda militants — two of them dressed as women — tried to infiltrate the country in October with explosives.

The two were killed in a shootout at the border and a third was arrested.

The foreigners in the cell were said to have entered the country under cover of seeking work or visiting Muslim holy sites in Mecca and Medina.

Two members of that cell were said to have been preparing suicide attacks, while the others were to have targeted economic and security targets.

Each of the two small cells was operating without knowledge of the other, and both were said to be linked to Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and tasked with targeting oil installations.

The ministry did not say where or when the arrests took place.

Saudi officials say they have broken up several plots inside the kingdom in the past year, rounding up numerous suspected militants and seizing weapons caches and bomb-making equipment, all linked to Al-Qaeda.

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