Seventeen suspected “terrorists” killed or arrested in Mecca during the week are members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, the Saudi interior minister said Wednesday.
"The criminals of Khaldiya district in Mecca are members of al-Qaeda," Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz told Al-Youm newspaper.
Those arrested in Mecca "are under interrogation to establish their links to the cell of 19," suspected “terrorists” uncovered by the Saudi authorities just a few days before the May 12 suicide bombings in Riyadh, Prince Nayef said.
Only six of the 19 members, who include 17 Saudis, were still at large, the minister said.
The possibility of “terrorists” carrying out more attacks in the Saudi kingdom has "decreased but we can not be absolutely certain," Prince Nayef added.
Thus far, Saudi security forces have arrested over 40 suspects following the Riyadh blasts which left 35 people dead, said the minister, adding that all those who had returned from Afghanistan were being interrogated.
He said that 17 Saudis and one Palestinian extradited by Sudan last week "could be linked to the terrorist attacks in the kingdom." (Albawaba.com)
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