RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced the arrest of 93 suspects with ties to the Islamic State group who it says were planning multi-pronged attacks on the U.S. Embassy, security forces and residential compounds where foreigners live.
The list of targets recalls a wave of attacks launched by al-Qaeda inside the kingdom from 2004 to 2007, which killed dozens of people, including foreigners, and threatened the stability of one of the world’s most important oil-producing nations. Saudi Arabia is also home to Islam’s holiest sites, in Mecca and Medina.
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki told The Associated Press that Saudi Arabia’s security forces are better prepared than ever to fight back against the Islamic State group. The kingdom is part of a U.S.-led coalition bombing the group in Iraq and Syria.
He said there have been five IS-related attacks across the kingdom in recent months that have killed 15 civilians and security personnel. But he said Saudis have largely ignored the IS group’s calls to take up arms against their government and attack the Shiite minority, security forces and foreigners living in the kingdom.