saudi arabia

5,345 held in Saudi Arabia on security charges

Yemenis top list of foreigners allegedly involved in acts of terrorism

15:30 February 5, 2018

Manama: There are 4,439 Saudi nationals among 5,345 held on security-related charges in Saudi Arabia. Yemenis account for the largest numbers of foreigners on the list, figures indicate.

Saudi daily Okaz on Monday reported 326 Yemenis were in the custody of the Saudi security authorities.

Abdul Rahman Faris Amer Al Merri is the most notorious of the detained Yemenis, blamed for forming three terror cells, active in four cities.

Other detainees are brothers Osama and Mohammad Ahmad Al Rajhi, who were implicated in the shooting of a retired Saudi officer in Jazan in south-west Saudi Arabia in February last year.

The list of dangerous Yemenis held in Saudi Arabia also includes Ahmad Yasser Al Kaldi and Ammar Ali Mohammad, who was arrested as Saudi forces foiled an attempt to target two defence ministry buildings in Riyadh.

The two terrorists, who were wearing explosive belts, were arrested before they reached their target.

The figures showed 64 Egyptians were in custody, including Talha Hashem, who was arrested as he and his accomplice were about to blow themselves up in a suicide attack at Al Ridha Mosque in Ahsa in western Saudi Arabia.

As the two were apprehended, the accomplice detonated his belt, but Talha was overpowered and detained.

Of the 23 Sudanese in custody, Abdul Adhim Al Taher Abdullah Ebrahim is considered the most dangerous, Okaz said. He was arrested after being implicated in the attempt to carry out a terrorist attack at Al Jawhara Stadium in Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia has been actively involved in combating terrorism both at home and abroad. The kingdom has also been steadily working on improving its anti-terror laws to deal with loopholes in previous legislation while going to “some incredible lengths to humanely rehabilitate Saudi citizens convicted of terrorism charges”.

In November, reports said a new anti-terror law in Saudi Arabia stipulated the death penalty for anyone who commits or funds a terror crime that results in death.

The new law supported a sentence of at least 15 years in jail for anyone found guilty of misusing his authority or his educational, training, social or media guidance status to support terrorism.