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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Saudi Arabia thwarts ISIS operations

Saudi security forces said on Monday they thwarted ISIS-linked terrorist operations in the kingdom, CNN reported, citing a statement by the Saudi Interior Ministry.

It is believed the goal of the suspected terror operations was to target citizens, scholars, security forces and vital facilities nationwide, according to the statement.

The complex security investigation lasted several months, the statement said.

The planned operations were to be carried out by a network consisting of three cluster cells linked to the "Daesh" terrorist organization, the Arabic acronym for ISIS, it continued.

The plans also included targeting military and economic facilities in different locations, the Interior Ministry added.

A total of 17 people, all suspected members of terror cells, were arrested. One of those arrested was a woman. 14 are Saudi citizens, one is a Yemeni national, one is Egyptian and the other is a Palestinian Arab national, according to CNN.

Saudi security forces also seized a large number of sticky bombs, suicide vests, automatic rifles, firearms silencers, ammunition and 600,000 Saudi Riyals ($160,000 US), according to the government statement.

This marks the second time in the last two months that Saudi Arabia caught suspected ISIS terrorists.

In mid-August, Saudi Arabia said that three women and their seven children, including a one-year-old, had been prevented from travelling to Syria to join jihadists.

It did not specify their nationalities or say how they managed to leave Saudi Arabia. Saudi women are generally not allowed to travel alone without permission from a male guardian.
Saudi Arabia regularly cracks down on terrorism in the kingdom and, in late 2015, launched a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism.