RIYADH, July 18 (KUNA) -- Saudi Arabia has foiled planned terrorist attacks that would have hit various parts of the Kingdom, and arrested 431 suspects of different nationalities, linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
Over the past few weeks, the security bodies arrested members of a group of cluster cells linked with ISIL, which had plans managed from restive regions abroad with the aim of inciting sectarian strife and chaos in the Kingdom, the ministry spokesman added.
The majority of the arrested people are Saudis, while the others came from Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Nigeria and Chad.
Attacks carried out by the cells over the past months include targeting worshippers in Dalwa village, in Al- Ahsa region of the Eastern Province, late in 2014, and shooting a public security patrol east of Riyadh, and a facility security gurads east of the capital.
They were also behind the bombings of mosques in Al-Qadeeh, eastern Qatif province, and Al-Anoud, in Dammam, west of the Kingdom in May.
The arrestees planned to launch several terrorist attacks to incite sectarian strife, targeting security members and expats "in line with orders they received from the deviant organization abroad." They provided arms and chemical fertilizers to be used for making explosives, as well as technical assistance, the ministry noted.
Thwarted plans included suicide attacks that would have hit a huge mosque in Riyadh and others in the Eastern Province on Fridays, coinciding with assassinations of security people.
According to the statement, a horrible suicide operation was planned to be implemented on the ninth day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan (26 June) to coincide with attacks that struck other countries the same Friday.
On that day, terrorist attacks hit a mosque in downtown Kuwait city, claiming the lives of 26 people and wounding 227 others, and a factory in France killing one person. A third killed 38 people and wounded 39 others in a beach hotel in Tunisia.
Saudi security bodies have found documents, communication devices, explosive materials, arms and ammunition smuggled from abroad, the ministry said.
It noted that up to 37 security men and citizens were killed in the operations against the ISIL cells, while 120 others were wounded. (end)