‘Spy cell’ in Saudi Arabia sought foreign financing

Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of the State Security arrested seven people for suspicious communication with foreign entities and actions against the state.

 (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 20 May 2018

‘Spy cell’ in Saudi Arabia sought foreign financing

RIYADH: Members of a “spy cell,” arrested by Saudi Arabia’s state security presidency two days ago, sought to “incite strife by communicating with foreign entities hostile to the Kingdom and to establish a false legal organization, according to information received by Asharq Al-Awsat from informed sources.
The sources said most of the cell’s suspects claim to have religious obligations and were using human rights as a pretext to violate the country’s systems. One of the arrested suspects had volunteered to defend people who tried to produce chaos and incite strife inside the Kingdom, according to the sources.
Another member of the cell had contacted a foreign entity “hostile to Saudi Arabia, to receive financial support in exchange for continuing to incite trouble.”
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Nahas, member of Shoura Committee Council on Foreign Affairs, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday that the Kingdom is capable of overcoming many security challenges due to the vigilance of its security apparatus.
For his part, Dr. Yusuf Al-Rumaih, professor of criminology at Al-Qassim University told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Saudi Arabia is a state built on the foundations of justice and it enshrines the principal of equality for all before the law.”
Earlier, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the security spokesman of the Presidency of State Security as saying that seven people have been arrested for suspicious communication with foreign entities and actions against the state.


It said authorities detected coordinated activities by a group of people, who carried out organized work to violate the religious and national principles of the Kingdom.
“They also had communications with foreign entities to support their activities and sought to recruit persons working in sensitive government posts as well as providing financial support to hostile elements abroad with the objective of undermining the Kingdom’s security and stability, its social peace and national cohesion,” the spokesperson added.

By: Asharq Alawsat - http://ow.ly/hMpy30k5M9n


‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

Footballing great Thierry Henry thrills fans as he signs 10 footballs on stage and tosses them to the audience. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 10 min 39 sec ago

‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

  • Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds

DHAHRAN: Stepping onto the Tanween stage in front of a sold-out venue full of cheering fans, footballing great Thierry Henry was quick to say how “hyped” he was to meet his Saudi supporters.
As a guest and speaker at Tanween Season, the former Arsenal striker and French international faced a busy schedule on Saturday after arriving at King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.
First, he had a “meet and greet” with fans, many wearing Arsenal shirts, which was quickly followed by a discussion of the theme for this year’s event, “Play.”
After two young footballers from Riyadh performed a series of tricks that included balancing a football on one leg, then kicking it in the air to land on their backs, Henry said: “I would have broken my back trying to do that. It’s not easy.”
On his second visit to Saudi Arabia — the first was to Riyadh last year — Henry said that he was impressed by this year’s Tanween theme since he had seen firsthand the results of a children’s quality-of-life program at Tanween.
“What I liked most was to see the smiles on the faces of those children when I was walking around the impressive building. Being able to dream is key for me, but seeing how the youngsters were interacting, and how happy they were with their families walking around, was just priceless,” he said.
Growing up, Henry’s father played an important role in his development. The footballer did not miss a beat when answering that his father was his idol. “My dad was the hardest man to please; to put a smile on his face was the hardest thing to do,” he said.
Although the footballer grew up in a “not so great” Paris neighborhood, he considered it an enriching cultural experience. “It was great for me at the time because it allowed me to travel, although I wasn’t really traveling,” he said.
France’s colonial history meant he was exposed to different cultures early in his life.
“If I going upstairs to have couscous, to the second floor to have Senegalese food, or to eat with the Portuguese downstairs, it allowed me to travel, staying where I was,” he explained.
During his talk Henry showed that his Arabic extends to common niceties such as “shukran,” “afwan” and “alsalamau alaikum.”
Having an impact on the English Premier League and his role in Arsenal’s record-breaking era almost two decades ago are more important to him that being considered the world’s best striker, he said. As for his favorite stadium, Henry was quick to choose Highbury.
Offering advice to younger Saudis in the audience, Henry urged them to face their problems calmly and cleverly.
“Don’t run away. Face it and don’t be scared to fail. Come back again, but smarter,” he said.
Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds. That revealed that he has always admired Muhammad Ali as the greatest, Messi is his current favorite football player and winning the World Cup was the most memorable moment in his career.
After the talk, Henry thrilled the crowd — a reminder of his playing days — by tossing 10 footballs to lucky fans who cheered as he left the stage.