The Saudi interior ministry on Saturday said 47 people convicted of plotting and carrying out terrorist attacks, targeting civilians and security forces, were executed.
The ministry statement, published on the official SPA news agency, said the 47 had been convicted of adopting the radical "takfiri" ideology, joining "terrorist organizations" and implementing various "criminal plots."
Most of those executed were involved in a series of attacks carried out by al-Qaeda from 2003-06 that killed Saudis and foreigners in the kingdom, the interior ministry statement added.
45 of those executed were of Saudi nationality, alongside one Chadian and one Egyptian, according to a list of names and nationalities published by the Saudi Press Agency. The 47 men were based across 12 regions in the kingdom, the interior ministry statement added.
They were convicted of plotting and carrying out terrorist attacks targeting civilians and security forces in Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries.
Al-Qaeda theorist Fares al-Shuwail and preacher Nimr al-Nimr was among those executed, the ministry said.
The Interior Ministry statement began with verses from the Quran and state television showed footage of the aftermath of al-Qaeda attacks in the last decade that killed hundreds.
The ministry confirmed that no minors were among Saturday’s executed convicts.
Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh appeared on television soon after to describe the executions as just.
The simultaneous execution of 47 people on security grounds was the biggest mass execution for such offences in Saudi Arabia since the 1980 killing of 63 militants who seized Makkah's Grand Mosque in 1979.
Saudi Arabia in 2015 suffered a series of further bombing and shooting attacks by militants sympathetic to ISIS. Those attacks killed dozens, increasing pressure on Riyadh to show it was taking strong action.
Below is a full list provided by SPA of people who were executed today:
1- Ameen Mohammed Abdullah Al Aqala - Saudi nationality.
2- Anwar Abdulrahman Khalil Al-Najjar - Saudi nationality.
3- Badr bin Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Badr- Saudi nationality.
4- Bandar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Ghaith - Saudi nationality.
5- Hassan Hadi bin Shuja'a Al-Masareer - Saudi nationality.
6- Hamad bin Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al-Humaidi- Saudi nationality
7- Khalid Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Jarallah - Saudi nationality
8- Ridha Abdulrahman Khalil Al-Najjar- Saudi nationality
9- Saad Salamah Hameer - Saudi nationality
10- Salah bin Saeed bin Abdulraheem Al-Najjar - Saudi nationality
11- Salah bin Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Hussain -Saudi nationality
12- Saleh bin Abdulrahman bin Ibrahim Al-Shamsan - Saudi nationality
13- Saleh bin Ali bin Saleh Al-Juma'ah - Saudi nationality
14- Adel bin Saad bin Jaza' Al-Dhubaiti - Saudi nationality
15- Adel Mohammed Salem Abdullah Yamani - Saudi nationality
16- Abduljabbar bin Homood bin Abdulaziz Al-Tuwaijri - Saudi nationality
17- Abdulrahman Dhakheel Faleh Al-Faleh - Saudi nationality
18- Abdullah Sayer Moawadh Massad Al-Mohammadi - Saudi nationality
19- Abdullah bin Saad bin Mozher Shareef - Saudi nationality
20- Abdullah Saleh Abdulaziz Al-Ansari - Saudi nationality
21- Abdullah Abdulaziz Ahmed Al-Muqrin - Saudi nationality
22- Abdullah Musalem Hameed Al-Raheef - Saudi nationality
23- Abdullah bin Mua'ala bin A'li - Saudi nationality
24- Abdulaziz Rasheed bin Hamdan Al-Toaili'e - Saudi nationality
25- Abdulmohsen Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Yahya - Saudi nationality
26- Isam Khalaf Mohammed Al-Mothri'e - Saudi nationality
27- Ali Saeed Abdullah Al Ribeh - Saudi nationality
28- Ghazi Mohaisen Rashed - Saudi nationality
29- Faris Ahmed Jama'an Al Showail - Saudi nationality
30- Fikri Ali bin Yahya Faqih - Saudi nationality
31- Fahd bin Ahmed bin Hanash Al Zamel - Saudi nationality
32- Fahd Abdulrahman Ahmed Al-Buraidi - Saudi nationality
33- Fahd Ali Ayedh Al Jubran - Saudi nationality
34- Majed Ibrahim Ali Al-Mughainem - Saudi nationality
35- Majed Moeedh Rashed - Saudi nationality
36- Mishaal bin Homood bin Juwair Al-Farraj - Saudi nationality
37- Mohammed Abdulaziz Mohammed Al-Muharib - Saudi nationality
38- Mohammed Ali Abdulkarim Suwaymil - Saudi nationality
39- Mohammed Fathi Abula'ti Al-Sayed - Egyptian nationality
40- Mohammed bin Faisal bin Mohammed Al-Shioukh - Saudi nationality
41- Mostafa Mohammed Altaher Abkar - Chadian nationality
42- Moaidh Mufreh Ali Al Shokr- Saudi nationality
43- Nasser Ali Ayedh Al Jubran - Saudi nationality
44- Naif Saad Abdullah Al-Buraidi - Saudi nationality
45- Najeeb bin abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Bohaiji - Saudi nationality
46- Nimr Baqer Ameen Al-Nimr- Saudi nationality
47- Nimr Sehaj Zeid Al-Kraizi - Saudi nationality
Meanwhile, the kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates reaffirmed their support to all Saudi efforts to combat terrorism.
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan called the executions a "clear message against terrorism and those who call for and incite sedition and unrest to tear apart the society's unity and threaten social peace in the kingdom".
Bahrain also backed Riyadh in "all deterrent and needed measures it takes to confront violence and extremism".
A scholar from Egypt's highest Sunni authority, Al-Azhar, has also welcomed the latest Saudi move saying it is in line with Islamic teachings against terrorists found guilty of murder and sabotage.
“Saudi Arabia has applied the law of God,” said Fawzi al-Zafzaf during an interview with Al Arabiya.net.