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Wanted militant arrested in Yanbu

By MD HUMAIDAN | ARAB NEWS

RIYADH: A wanted Saudi terrorist was arrested in Yanbu, the Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday.

“Tracking operations of the security apparatus resulted in the arrest of Ahmad Qatim Al-Hadhli, ranking 10th on the list of 85 wanted militants published in February last year,” said Interior Ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki. The arrest reportedly took place on Friday.

An unnamed security source told Reuters that Al-Hadhli was monitoring oil and industrial facilities in this port city.

Al-Hadhli was previously suspected of having carried out the failed suicide attack against Deputy Minister of Interior Prince Muhammad bin Naif in August, according to some media reports that turned out to be false.

In August the Kingdom announced the arrest of 44 suspected militants linked to an Al-Qaeda cell.

In a statement on the crackdown of terror suspects at that time, Al-Turki said those arrests had occurred over a period of one year. “The operation began in July 20, 2008 and ended on Aug. 2, 2009,” he said at the time.

Investigations showed that some of the suspects were in contact with senior Al-Qaeda commanders operating outside the Kingdom. Some were also in contact with local Al-Qaeda operatives killed in recent clashes with the security forces in the Kingdom. The suspects took advantage of charity works to plan and attempt to execute terror attacks in the country. Some of those arrested used their own money to finance their operations.

Saudi Arabia has pursued a multipronged strategy against terrorism. While the security apparatus tracks down the militants, religious scholars have made it clear that extremism has no religious approval and is contrary to the principles of Islam.

Militants have been responsible for more than 30 attacks in the Kingdom since May 2003. Ninety civilians and 74 members of the security forces have been reportedly killed while 439 civilians and 657 members of the security forces have been reportedly injured over that period of time.

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