saudi arabia

No terror link for Bahrainis arrested in Makkah

Detainees failed to comply with pilgrimage permit rules

18:44 September 18, 2016

Manama: Bahrain’s interior ministry on Sunday ruled out that the 13 Bahrainis arrested in Saudi Arabia this month had links with terrorism.

The arrests were not related to terrorism, but rather to not complying with the laws regarding obtaining permits to perform Haj, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement.

Three detainees, two women and a man, were released and the ministry is following up the matter with the competent Saudi authorities, the statement added.

A Saudi daily on Saturday reported that Saudi security authorities arrested 54 suspects on the first nine days of Dhul Hijja, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar.

According to the daily, 30 of the suspects were from Saudi Arabia, 13 from Bahrain, and the others from Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Iraq.

Under Saudi regulations, people planning to perform Haj are required to travel with a licensed operator and must have special pilgrimage permits.

The procedures are used to streamline the number of people who can perform Haj.

The Saudi authorities had repeatedly warned that it would take action against anyone not complying with the rules.

Haj, the fifth tenet of Islam, is required at least once from all physically fit and financially able adult Muslims.

Haj this year started on September 10 and ended on September 14.