Report: Terror suspects arrested in Saudi Arabia may be Assad agents

The kingdom has detained 48 Syrians nationals over the past nine months, Al-Watan newspaper said

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Several Syrian terror suspects who have been detained by Saudi authorities in recent months may have been employed by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, a Saudi newspaper reported Friday.

Al-Watan said Saudi security forces monitored over the past nine months “what is believed to be a Syrian network with dubious and terrorist activities.” Authorities have detained several suspects in close operations that started since last December, the paper added.

It said 48 Syrians were arrested, including 11 who entered the kingdom as “visitors.”

“The Saudi Interior Ministry in its statements did not disclose the charges against them, but the close arrests over the past few months give signals that they were plotting to carry out terrorist acts at the behest of the Assad regime,” theb paper said.

The number of Syrians detained in Saudi jails is the second largest for foreign detainees after Yemenis, whose number is 189, according to the paper.

Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry Tuesday said it had apprehended 88 individuals with suspected links to foreign terror groups.

“Security agencies, over a period of several months, monitored all the suspects, particularly those with extremist ideologies,” said a ministry statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The ministry’s spokesperson Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turkey, speaking at a news conference following the announcement, said the suspects had been detained “for having links with terror groups outside the kingdom.”

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