Saudi authorities have indicted 991 suspects on charges that they participated in terrorist attacks carried out in the kingdom over the last five years, the interior minister said Tuesday. The legal proceedings mark a significant step in Saudi Arabia's fight against terror.
"In the past few years, the kingdom has been the target of an organized terrorist campaign linked to networks of strife and sedition overseas," said Interior Minister Prince Nayef in his statement carried by The Saudi Press Agency. "This campaign targeted the way of life, economy and principles of Saudi society and sought to create chaos," he added. "It has direct links to a deviant group that adopts the (mind-set) of al-Qaeda."
The militants have been responsible for more than 30 attacks in the kingdom since May 2003, Nayef said. Those attacks killed 164 people, including 74 security officials, and wounded 657 security officials and 439 civilians. Another 160 attacks were foiled.
Nayef said the militants' actions have affected the reputation of Islam and charity work, "attaching the label of terrorism to Islam and Muslims." According to him, three tons of explosives have been seized from the militants. Thousands of missiles, automatic weapons, pistols, rifles, as well as cyanide, have also been seized, he said.