Saudi Arabia has claimed to have foiled a plot to bomb its defence ministry’s headquarters by ISIS.
Two of the suspects— Ahmed Yaser al-Kaldi and Ammar Ali Muhammad— are alleged Yemeni members of ISIS while the others are Saudis accused of links to them, the official news agency SPA reported.
They were allegedly preparing to attack two defence ministry headquarters in Riyadh, it reported, without saying when the arrests were made.
“The two Saudis are suspected of involvement with two Yemeni suicide bombers, who were planning attacks against (defence ministry) buildings,” SPA said. The Yemeni men were arrested “before they reached their intended target,” the agency quoted an unnamed official as saying.
Photos published by SPA showed a safe house – a small, one-storey building in an enclosed courtyard – where the Yemeni men had allegedly sheltered and trained to use suicide belts.
Other photos showed the prepared belts and homemade grenades found inside the house in a northern district of Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia has previously been hit by deadly bombing and shooting attacks by IS militants targeting security forces and Shias.
The assailants were training in the use of explosive belts, the security source added, while authorities said they seized grenades and firearms during the operation to foil the attack.
In a separate news item, SPA quoted a security source as saying that authorities uncovered “intelligence activities for the benefit of foreign parties” by a group of people it did not name.
News agency Reuters quoted a security source, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, as saying that the suspects were accused of carrying out “espionage activities and having contacts with external entities, including the Muslim Brotherhood”.
“The group is also accused of having contacts with and receiving financial and other forms of support from two other countries to harm the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and with the aim of destabilising the security and national unity in preparation to overthrow the Saudi regime in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood,” the source said.
Citing an ongoing investigation, the source declined to name the countries or the members of the group.