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73 Saudis held abroad on terror charges

Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Interior said that 73 Saudis are currently detained outside the Kingdom on charges related to terrorism, while the number of Saudis who joined terrorist organizations and involved in fighting abroad has reached 2,093.
Syria topped the list of areas of conflict in terms of Saudis fighting there, with over 70 percent of the total number of Saudis fighting in conflict zones. The nations most favored by Saudi fighters after Syria are Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said the number of Saudis in conflict regions currently is 2,093. They have joined terrorist organizations in various areas of clashes and conflicts. “We have confirmations on the locations of the majority of them,” he added.
Al-Turki said that there are 1,540 Saudis who have joined terrorist organizations in the Syrian conflict zones, while the number of Saudis joining terrorist organizations in Yemen is 147. In Afghanistan and Pakistan there are 31 Saudis fighting. Five Saudis are fighting in Iraq.
“We have no information about the whereabouts of another 297 Saudis. But we have confirmation that there are 73 Saudi detainees outside the Kingdom, arrested on charges related to terrorism,” he said. The number of Saudis sympathizing with Daesh, which announced its existence in June 2014, significantly declined, confirming the earlier statements by Abdul Monem Al-Mashouh, the president of the Sakinah campaign, run under the auspices of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, who said that Saudis who joined Daesh are not influential.
The terrorist organization that emerged from the most extreme groups, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which was formed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi in 2004, lost many Saudi sympathizers after the militants used them as a media front to attract more young people from Arabic and Islamic countries.
The terrorist organization thrust young Saudis in its suicide operations at the beginning of its formation, but the Saudi Ministry of Interior recently said the number of Saudi suicide bombers in conflict zones is declining.

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