Saudi Arabia has foiled an operation masterminded by a “terrorist cell” which received its orders from militants in Syria Tuesday, Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Mansur al-Turki (photo) said Friday.
The “terrorist operation” involved seven car bombings.
On April 8, Saudi Police arrested suspect Yazid Mohammed Abu Nayan who admitted to killing two Policemen at a checkpoint,” in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Turki said.
Information was gleaned from Abu Nayan, including text messages from three cell phones which indicate communication was made between him and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Syria. Videos of the attempted operation were also seen stored in the cell phones.
The spokesman said Abu Nayan “was hiding in a farm in Hirmaila [north of Riyadh]” when he was found.
However, Saudi authorities are still on the lookout for his alleged partner Nawaf Sharif al-Anzi whom he is said to have met with him about “two days ago, before the crime.”
Al-Turki said Anzi now has one million riyal bounty placed on him.
Saudi authorities seized Belgian rifles and cash estimated to be around 4,000 riyals buried with more arms underground and explosive white powder.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia has put Security Forces on alert for a possible militant attack on a shopping mall or energy installation.
“There was information about a possible act targeting a mall or Aramco installations. We passed this information to the Security Forces to be on alert,” Al-Turki then said adding that he had no further information about the threat.
Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter and key strategic ally of the United States, has been a target of jihadi militant groups for years, including al Qaeda and ISIS.
Riyadh has been carrying out air strikes against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen since March 26 in a conflict in which nine members of its Security Forces have been killed by cross-border fire.