Saudi Arabia sees ‘over 120 terror plots in 15 years’

Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at a security monitoring center in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (AP)

Saudi Arabia suffered more than 128 terrorist operations in the last 15 years that killed or injured as many as 1,147 Saudis and expatriates, according to spokesman of Interior Ministry Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki.

“Since 2001 the Kingdom has been a target for terrorists who also planned to attack housing complexes and vital security establishments,” he said.

Turki was speaking on Monday at a symposium on “The role of social service and intellectual security” organized by Princess Nourah University.

He said that terrorists also targeted mosques, foreign embassies and the security men.

“Even the Grand Mosque in Makkah was targeted and the Prophet›s Mosque was attacked last Ramadan,” he said.

The spokesman said the propagators of devious thought found fertile soil and a safe haven in countries witnessing armed conflicts.

“Their leaders and sponsors clearly announced that their main objective was to destabilize the Kingdom, undermine its values and instigate its youth,” he said.

Since the 15th Hijra century, the Kingdom has been subjected to unprecedented terrorist attacks which were aimed at shaking its public order, sowing dissension and undermining its social stability by spreading devious ideologies and recruiting the youth to carry out criminal acts, the spokesman said.

He said the forces of darkness exploited social media networks to recruit new adherents, establish terror cells, finance their operations and manage their dirty work from a distance.

Turki said terrorists usually target people with no solid religious knowledge playing with their sentiments by narrating to them fake stories about injustices and the suffering of women, children and the elderly.

He said that terrorists also started using women, especially in societies which respect women and give them privacy.

“Extremist organizations were keen to exploit the privacy of women in the Kingdom, the facilities granted to them and their easy movements,” he said.

This article was first published on the Saudi Gazette.

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