Terror cells busted in Jeddah, Makkah raids

CRACKDOWN ON TERROR: Saudi security forces report success in their operations against terrorists in Makkah and Jeddah.
Updated 06 May 2016

Terror cells busted in Jeddah, Makkah raids

JEDDAH: In two preemptive raids carried out simultaneously in Makkah and Jeddah on Thursday, the Interior Ministry thwarted the plots of several terrorists planning attacks in the Kingdom.
In the first raid on a rest house in Wadi No’man, east of Makkah, at dawn on Thursday, members of the security forces and the terrorists were involved in a fire fight, resulting in the death of two terrorists, while two others with suicide belts blew themselves up. No one else was injured.
The ministry had received information about the presence of several terrorists a few kilometers from security installations at the holy sites. The area was immediately cordoned off at dawn and surrounded. The men had opened fire at the security forces and thrown grenades.
Makkah governorate announced the success of the security operation on its Twitter account, without releasing further details, saying that the ministry would release information at a later stage.
It is believed that the Makkah cell is linked to Oqab Al-Otaibi, a suspect arrested recently in connection with the Daesh cell that carried out a suicide attack on a mosque used by members the Special Emergency Forces in Asir in August 2015.
At the same time, the authorities carried out another raid in Jeddah where two men were allegedly hiding and planning attacks.
Both were arrested and are under investigation for their links to a terrorist cell.
An Interior Ministry source said that the two successful operations had been carried out based on information gathered from a two-day raid in Bisha that ended on Sunday.
In the operation, two Daesh suspects were killed and a third wounded.

Saudi Shoura Council chief stresses KSA’s continued support for Iraq’s fight against terror groups

Updated 13 min 9 sec ago

Saudi Shoura Council chief stresses KSA’s continued support for Iraq’s fight against terror groups

BAGHDAD: The speaker of the Shoura Council, Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh, on Saturday praised the efforts of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in strengthening Saudi-Iraqi relations.

Al-Asheikh was speaking at the Baghdad Summit of Parliaments of Neighboring Countries of Iraq.

The summit, hosted by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi, gathered top lawmakers from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait to discuss regional security, diplomacy and economic issues. Al-Asheikh said Saudi-Iraqi relations have recently developed after the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to Riyadh with a high-level delegation.

Al-Asheikh stressed the desire of both countries’ leaderships to promote bilateral relations and common interests.

“We are meeting today at this summit to celebrate the victory of brotherly Iraq over terrorism and the elimination of the Daesh terrorist organization,” he said. 

“My country has contributed to the efforts of the international coalition forces to eliminate it and enact more legislation and laws that criminalize it.”

Al-Halbousi said his country’s relations with neighboring states are strong, and Iraq intends to develop them. 

“Today, Iraq is building a promising strategic partnership with all neighboring countries without any reservations or favoring any party,” he added.

Visiting officials pledged support for reconstruction and development efforts in Iraq, and for the country’s continued stability following its victory over Daesh after three years of war, Al-Halbousi said.

Iraq continues to fight terror with regional and international assistance, he added, thanking all countries that have supported this fight. 

The summit dealt with a number of topics, notably strengthening parliamentary cooperation between Iraq and neighboring countries, and supporting regional efforts against terrorism.

Baghdad and Riyadh have been at loggerheads since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, but they have recently undertaken a diplomatic push to improve ties.