Saudis Arrest Ten Terror Suspects


The arrests follow claims in the U.S. bipartisan Iraq Study Group report issued in December that Saudi Arabia has been a source of funding for the Sunni insurgency in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion deposed Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior issued a statement Jan. 22 warning against collecting donations for groups not registered with the government.

"Security special forces, as part of their efforts in fighting terrorism and its funding, managed to arrest a group of people carrying out illegal activities including collecting donations illegally … and sending them to suspected parties," Mansour al-Turki, the Interior Ministry spokesman said in a statement.

Recipients of the donations used the money in "dragging the sons of the nation to disturbed places," the statement said, apparently referring to Iraq.

Seven Saudi citizens were arrested Friday night while meeting in a house in the Western port city of Jiddah, according to the spokesman. Two other Saudis were detained in separate raids in Jiddah and the holy city of Medina. The spokesman did not give the nationality of the other suspect.

He did not provide additional information on the detainees’ identities, but said that they are under interrogation. He also said that it is not clear yet whether they belong to al-Qaida.

The Iraq Study Group gave Iraqi officials as the source of the claim that money has been pouring into Iraq from Saudi Arabia since April 2003. Saudi officials vehemently deny those claims.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq’s neighbor to the south, is predominantly Sunni. It also was the home to 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers.

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