Massive sweep foils Daesh plot to sow chaos in KSA

Updated 20 July 2015

Massive sweep foils Daesh plot to sow chaos in KSA

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced Saturday it has broken up a cluster of Daesh cells, members of which planned strikes in the Kingdom, and arrested over 400 suspects, mostly Saudis, in an anti-terrorism sweep.
The detainees include suspects in recent attacks on security patrols in Riyadh and suicide bombings in the Eastern Province.
The operatives had planned attacks on diplomatic missions and conducted a reconnaissance on one of them. They were also working to identify the houses of a number of security men in a plot to assassinate them. Security and government installations in Sharourah were also in their crosshairs.
The startling revelations were made at a Ministry of Interior press conference on Saturday.
“Security authorities have, over the past few weeks, worked to dismantle a network of cluster cells linked to Daesh. They were following a scheme managed from troubled spots abroad with the aim of inciting sectarian strife and chaos in the Kingdom,” said Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, the ministry’s spokesman.
He added that 431 people have been arrested so far. The foreigners in the cells are from Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Nigeria and Chad. Some of the operatives are yet to be identified, he pointed out.
The task of five members of a cell was to prepare suicide bombers while another five-member cell had the mission of manufacturing explosive belts.
Of the 431 arrested, 190 made up the four cells suspected to be behind Al-Qadeeh and Al-Anoud bombings in the Eastern Province.
“What combines these cells — not allowed to make direct contacts with each other due to security restrictions — is their ties with Daesh in terms of the adoption of thought, division of society and bloodshed and then exchanging roles to implement the plans and objectives dictated from abroad,” Al-Turki added.
The ministry accused those arrested of involvement in several attacks, including a suicide bombing in May that killed 22 people in the eastern village of Al-Qadeeh.
It also blamed them for the November shooting and killing of eight worshippers in the eastern village of Al-Ahsa, and the Al-Anoud Mosque attack in Dammam where a suicide bomber disguised as a woman blew himself up during Friday prayers, killing four.
Those arrested included suspects behind a number of militant websites used in recruitment, the ministry said.
The ministry said that authorities foiled attacks plotted during Ramadan, including a bombing at a mosque belonging to security forces in Riyadh and Shiite mosques in Eastern Province.
Among those detained are 144 people accused of supporting the network by “spreading the deviant ideology on the Internet and recruiting new members.”


Notice setting date for Saudi international flights ‘is bogus’

Updated 12 August 2020

Notice setting date for Saudi international flights ‘is bogus’

  • Aviation chiefs issue official denial after fake circular says passengers can fly to and from Kingdom from October

RIYADH: A fake circular suggesting Saudi Arabia will resume international flights in October has been condemned as “completely baseless and fabricated” by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
Rumors that international flights will shortly return have been circulating on social media in recent weeks without any official statement from GACA.
On Tuesday, the authority denied announcing the resumption of international flights and said information being circulated was fabricated.
Saudi Arabia suspended international flights from March 15 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since domestic flights restarted on May 31, rumors have been circulating regarding the return of international flights. On Monday, the bogus GACA circular was shared on various social media platforms suggesting flights into and out of Saudi Arabia would resume in October. It sparked a flurry of speculation.
The circular, titled “No flights till October 2020,” said: “An employee of the GACA has stated in a recent interview that all international flights to and from the Kingdom are to remain suspended till the month of October.” Quoting a GACA official, the circular said that the decision was subject to the number of coronavirus cases, which must “come down to three digits.”
GACA official spokesman Ibrahim bin Abdullah Alrwosa told Arab News the circular “is completely baseless and fabricated.”
He shared a tweet from the authority’s public relations department describing the circular as incorrect.
The civil aviation authority has previously said there is no specific date for the resumption of international flights, he added.
All international flights remain suspended until further notice.
However, exceptions have been made for humanitarian assistance and emergency cases, medical evacuation flights and repatriation of stranded citizens and expatriates wanting to return home.