Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula dismissed on Sunday reports by Saudi authorities it is planning to carry out attacks coincide with the Muslim haj pilgrimage to Mecca after. Just over a week ago, "We are against any crimes against pilgrims ... Haj is a pillar of Islam and we are most eager (not to spill) the blood of Muslims, wherever they may be. Mecca is more sacred than any other place," AQAP said in a statement cited by Reuters.
The statement followed comments last week by Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz the Saudi interior minister in which he suggested al Qaeda may attack. "Al Saud's desperate attempt to stamp out the mujahideen has made them fabricate lies, including the statement by the Saudi interior minister about the possibility of a destructive action by the mujahideen against pilgrims," AQAP said in the statement.