First Published: 2013-03-20

 

Saudi dismantles spy ring

 

Authorities arrest 16 Saudis, Iranian, Lebanese on charges of espionage for foreign country.

 

Middle East Online

Spying for which foreign country?

RIYADH - The Saudi authorities have arrested 18 suspected spies, including an Iranian and a Lebanese, on charges of espionage for a foreign country, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

"Sixteen Saudis, an Iranian and a Lebanese were arrested in coordinated and simultaneous operations in four regions of the kingdom," including the capital Riyadh and the holy city of Mecca, the ministry said in a statement.

The suspects, some of whom were arrested in Eastern Province where the kingdom's Shiite minority is concentrated, were working for a foreign country which it did not name, the statement added.

Their arrest was made after the ministry had "received information concerning the involvement of Saudis and expats in espionage on behalf of a another country," said the statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

The suspects "gathered information on vital installations which they provided to the country" they had been working for, it added.

Although the ministry did not reveal the name of the country for which the suspects were allegedly working, the announcement that an Iranian is implicated could point to Iran.

Saudi Arabia and its partners in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council have strained ties with Iran which they suspect of supporting Shiite opposition protests in GCC member Bahrain, which like its partners is Sunni-ruled.

News of the arrests came as rights activists on Tuesday reported that Saudi security forces had arrested several Shiites across the kingdom, including two clerics, over the past days for unspecified reasons.

Since early 2011, mainly Shiite towns in Eastern Province have seen sporadic protests and confrontations between police and Shiite residents who complain of marginalisation.

There are an estimated two million Shiites in the Sunni-dominated kingdom of about 27.5 million people.

 

Iraq launches operation to clear last IS holdouts from desert

Divided Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

Lebanon’s Hariri suspends resignation

Revolt in US State Department over child soldier law

Outrage in Iraq over 'child marriage' bill

Hezbollah hails PM's suspension of resignation

Syrian opposition aims for unity at talks in Riyadh

Egypt police kill 3 Islamists in shootout

Turkey unsure if Assad to be part of Syria political transition

Migrant arrivals from Libya down since EU deal

Palestinian factions leave Cairo talks with little progress

Sudan’s Bashir looks to Putin for ‘protection’ from US aggression

China, Djibouti forge 'strategic' ties

IS propaganda channels fall quiet in 'unprecedented' hiatus

Kremlin to create Syria congress despite Turkey ‘reservations’

Netanyahu berates deputy minister for 'offensive' remarks on US Jews

Egypt PM heads to Germany for medical treatment

Egypt destroys 10 SUVs carrying arms on Libya border

Saudi-led coalition to reopen Yemen airport, port to aid

Turkey court rules to keep Amnesty chief in jail

France calls for UN meeting on Libya slave-trading

Egypt detains 29 for allegedly spying for Turkey

WTO panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE blockade

Three dead as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Israel seizes explosive material at Gaza border

Activists call for release of UK journalist held by IS

Bahrain upholds jail sentence for activist

Iraq attacks at lowest since 2014

Turkey continues crackdown in post-coup probe

Hariri back in Lebanon

Putin to hold Syria peace talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

US carries out air strikes against IS in Libya

Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt ahead of return home

Rebels say Sanaa airport 'ready to run' after coalition bombing

Greece to amend historic sharia law for Muslim minority

Turkey to ask Germany to extradite top coup suspect

Car bomb in northern Iraq kills at least 24

Morocco bans bitcoin transactions

13 million Syrians need aid despite relative drop in violence

Sudan urged to improve plight of Darfur's displaced people

Brain drain means Syria can’t recover for a generation

Palestinians close communication lines with Americans

Anti-IS coalition strikes drop to lowest number

German police arrest six Syrians ‘planning terror attack’

Palestinian factions in Cairo for reconciliation talks