Saudi Arabia nabs 11 Al Qaeda suspects (Lead)

April 8th, 2009 - 5:43 am ICT by IANS  

Riyadh, April 8 (DPA) Eleven suspected members Al Qaeda terrorist network were arrested by security officials in Saudi Arabia, the interior ministry announced Tuesday.
The terrorist cell was held during a special opereation on the kingdom’s southern border with Yemen. The group had been carrying several weapons.

According to the interior ministry statement, the detainees, who were hiding near the border, were planning attacks against Saudi security personnel, along with kidnappings and armed robberies to raise money for their terrorist operations.

Saudi television aired shots of the cell’s hiding place that contained all of their arms, which included pistols, shotguns, ammunition and explosive belts. The detainees, who were all Saudis, had huge amounts of food and different kinds of cameras in their possession.

In March, the Yemeni interior ministry issued a list of 154 most-wanted Al Qaeda suspects that included 85 Saudis.

It was not clear whether Tuesday’s detainees were among those on the Yemeni list.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of fugitive Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has faced a rising tide of terrorist attacks as militants seek to strengthen their base in the country.

Yemen and Saudi Arabia have swapped dozens of suspects in recent year under a security agreement signed in 2004.

In February, Yemen sent back to Saudi Arabia Mohammed al-Awfi, an Al Qaeda commander, after he turned himself in to Yemeni authorities.

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