Terror attack ‘was funded from abroad’

Updated 11 November 2014

Terror attack ‘was funded from abroad’

The alleged perpetrators of last week’s attack in Al-Dalwah in Al-Ahsa received funds from abroad just days before they carried out their operation, an informed source from the security apparatus has told Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News.
The source was quoted as saying on Monday that the investigations into the bank accounts of the suspects arrested last Wednesday in Qassim showed that they had received money from foreign and domestic sources shortly before the attack.
Weapons and cash was found during the arrests on Wednesday, the source said, adding that those apprehended were part of a terror cell that was planning further attacks on Saudi soil.
The security source said that in addition to the 33 suspects, another two people had been arrested on Saturday evening in the Eastern Province, bringing the number of those arrested to 35. The source said that all those arrested so far are Saudis, and that some of them had been previously engaged in fighting in regional conflicts, while others were convicted of criminal offenses in Saudi Arabia. A few had been fugitives.
“The criminal plans of this terror cell have now been completely thwarted,” the source said, adding that its members had been able to secure lodging and funds.
Those involved were “fully aware that some of their colleagues had been involved in previous terror operations and wanted by the security services, and that by concealing them from the authorities they were putting themselves in danger.”
The source added: “The country’s security apparatus remains completely vigilant, ready to intercept with full force all those who seek to spread chaos within (Saudi) society, especially considering what is happening in countries neighboring Saudi Arabia during this period.”


LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Amadeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Amadeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Amadeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Amadeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.