The Saudi judiciary announced its preliminary verdict to punish and execute 15 people and jail others who are linked to an Iranian spy cell. The infamous cell had gathered banking and medical information and had submitted dangerous information to the Iranian intelligence. The information it provided is very dangerous to the extent that it facilitates the enemy to target vital institutions and security facilities.
The Saudi intelligence succeeded in exposing the cell and the case was transferred to the interior ministry. The trial was carried out as per all the necessary procedures and the preliminary verdict was issued after more than 160 hearings.
The cell had contact with Najaf and Iran and received facilitation from consulates and embassies. All this is proven. The aim is to target Saudi Arabia via terrorist and violent attacks. One of those informed about the case voiced surprise as he looked at the list of the spies' names and wondered how could the Iranian regime recruit some of them who are believed to be of value and who hold decent posts and display some sort of calmness and discipline? However, the truth has been shocking as it turned out they are tools for the Iranian intelligence.
Iran aims to harm stability in the Gulf and this can be seen through Iranian spy cells in Bahrain, the Abdali cell in Kuwait and the spy cell in Saudi Arabia.
There's no doubt that the preliminary verdict will act as a deterrent to those who've sold their countries, communicated with the enemy and given up their security for a cheap price.
This article was first published in Okaz on December 9, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.