Saudi Arabia arrested two men suspected of plotting terror attacks on Thursday, and a Saudi official said the arrest is connected to the recent closure of Western embassies in the region.
According to the official Saudi Arabian SPA news agency, the two suspects were planning suicide attacks in the Kingdom. They were arrested for exchanging information about imminent suicide attacks in the region.
The two, one from Chad and the other from Yemen, are being interrogated after their arrest in relation to conversations they had on social media forums with terrorists abroad, a Security Spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior told SPA.
One of the suspects, the Chadian national, was deported from the country but had returned to Saudi Arabia with a passport from another country, according to SPA.
Local authorities had monitored the e-mails of the two suspects on social networking websites, which included messages of hatred and incitement, according to the report. It became clear from the items seized from them, including computers and mobile telephones, that they were communicating with groups abroad either through coded e-mails or identifiers through social networking websites.
They exchanged information on suicide operations that were to take place in the region, according to SPA.
A spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry, Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, told Al Arabiya later Thursday that the arrests were connected with the general warning for the Middle East issued by the United States this week, which saw 20 embassies in the region closed over concerns that a terror attack was imminent.
The official said the investigation of the suspects was still ongoing.
Reports this week indicated that the Obama administration’s decision to close the diplomatic missions and issue a worldwide travel alert resulted from intercepted electronic communications in which the head of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan ordered the leader of its affiliate in Yemen to carry out an attack.
Yemen said on Wednesday it had foiled an Al-Qaeda plot to blow up oil pipelines and seize some of the country’s main ports. It also emerged on Wednesday that the intercepted communication was, in fact, a conference call between Zawahiri and the heads of several Al Qaeda branches in the Middle East and North Africa.
At least 12 terrorists were killed on Thursday in American drone strikes in Yemen.