debkafile: Saudis uncover new al Qaeda ring backed by Iran. They detain 172 in air terror plot against oil sites

Saudis and foreign nationals were among the detainees. They included terrorists trained to fly aircraft and carry out suicide attacks against “public figures, oil facilities, refineries and military zones” – some outside the kingdom, said the interior ministry spokesman Brig. Mansour al-Turki Friday, without elaborating.
One had planned to storm a prison and release the inmates.
“They had reached an advance stage of readiness and what remained only was to set the zero hour for their attacks,” he said.
A state TV broadcast showed a large quantity of weapons, ammo and explosives in plastic sacks dug up in the desert. More than $32.4 million in cash was also seized.
debkafile‘s counter-terror sources say this is the biggest and most sophisticated terrorist ring captured in Saudi Arabia. It was supported by and linked operationally to elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards which have begun infiltrating the Shiite community of the oil-rich Eastern Provinces to build terror networks. As in Iraq, the Iranian agents established ties with al Qaeda cells in the kingdom.
The Saudi spokesman referred to seven cells from the “deviant group” (al Qaeda) linked to foreign elements, which took advantage “of trouble spots outside the kingdom in planning, recruitment and training.” He also said some suspects were sent to “other countries to train as pilots for terrorist operations in the kingdom.”
Last Monday, interior minister Prince Nayef said a new list of wanted terrorists was under preparation, indicating that al Qaeda had renewed its operations in Saudi Arabia. In the same statement, he mentioned the possibility of a US strike against Iran, adding: “We hope it will not happen but it is a matter we are taking into consideration.”

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