Nine Americans among terror suspects arrested in Saudi Arabia – report

Members of the Saudi special security forces © Faisal Nasser
Nine US citizens have been arrested on terror charges in Saudi Arabia, local media report. The Americans were among a total of 33 terror suspects detained over the past week.

The arrests come following a string of attacks against Shia targets claimed by Sunni jihadists that have killed 50 people over the past year.

Among the suspects are 14 Saudi citizens, nine Americans, three Yemenis, two Syrians, a Filipino, an Indonesian, a citizen of Kazakhstan, a Palestinian, and a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Gazette, an English-language daily, reported on Sunday, referencing an unnamed source.

Two US officials have told Reuters that Washington cannot immediately confirm that American citizens are among the 33 suspects. However, one of the officials said that US authorities are still checking the names against their databases.

Riyadh declared Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) a terrorist organization in 2014. In July of 2015 alone, Saudi Arabia announced the arrest of 431 suspected members of the terrorist group.

IS responded with a series of terror acts, performed mostly by suicide bombers. The latest attack took place last Friday, when a bombing and shooting attack on a Shia mosque in the al-Ahsa district of Eastern Province left at least four people dead and 18 injured.