More than 50 terror suspects arrested during Hajj
The security authorities arrested 54 terror suspects between the third and 11th of September during Hajj
The security authorities arrested 54 terror suspects between the third and 11th of September during Hajj.
The terror suspects included 30 Saudis, 13 Bahrainis, and the rest from seven different nationalities. One of them was a citizen of Brunei.
The Brunei national is the first man from the southeast Asian country to be apprehended on charges of terrorism.
The security sources did not identify the man but said he was arrested in Riyadh without any resistance.
They said the accused is currently being investigated to verify his involvement in terror operations that took place in the Kingdom or if he had any connections with or had supported terrorist organizations in the country.
On September 3, 17 suspects were arrested, who included nine Bahrainis, three Pakistanis, two Saudis, one Yemeni, and one Sudanese.
On September 5, five suspects were arrested. They included two Bahrainis, two Saudis, and one Yemeni.
On September 6, 12 suspects were arrested, half of them were Saudis, two were Bahrainis, two Yemenis, one Syrian, and one Iraqi.
On September 7, two Saudis and one Syrian were arrested.
On September 8, one Saudi was arrested.
On September 9 and 10, five Saudis were arrested.
On September 11, 10 Saudis and one Brunei national were arrested.
This Hajj season saw an unprecedented security for pilgrims.
Saudi officers kept eyes on every route and gathering spot.
An “eye” which never closes formed the heart of the command and control center located in Mina, said Col. Saad Al-Dosari, its planning chief.
Another officer, Captain Tareq Al-Azam, said that his dozens-strong team had been on duty around the clock monitoring this year’s 1.8 million pilgrims.
More than 5,000 cameras were installed in the entire Makkah sector covering a radius of around 10 kilometers (six miles) around its Grand Mosque.
From his vantage point, the captain could direct the cameras and was able to zoom in to investigate any suspicious-looking or potentially dangerous activity.
The job of the security team was “to survey the screens to detect any problem or any blockage” in the constant stream of pilgrims navigating the Holy Sites, explained Dosari.
If any anomaly is detected, “they inform the operations center to prevent any problem before it can even happen.”
Dozens of soldiers were posted at the center, located a few meters away, with headphones on and microphones at the ready to pass on information to the tens of thousands of members of the security forces on the ground.
This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on September 18, 2016.