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Saudi says arrests 93 Islamic State suspects, foils U.S. embassy attack

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has arrested 93 people suspected of belonging to the Islamic State militant group, including two people who planned a failed suicide car bombing against the U.S. embassy in Riyadh, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

The 93 included at least 77 Saudi nationals, a ministry statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency said.

“Activities are ongoing against the deviant group which seeks to undermine the security of this country…They are ceaselessly seeking to achieve this through their criminal plans,” the statement said.

A cell involving two Syrians and a Saudi planned a suicide car bombing against the U.S. embassy in Riyadh but the plot was detected in March. One of the two Syrian suspects and the Saudi suspect were among the 93 arrested, the ministry said.

One cell, which authorities said contained at least 61 Saudis, sought to recruit members via social media, raise funds and establish training camps inside the kingdom.

The ministry said earlier on Tuesday it had arrested a second suspect in separate shootings in March and April which killed two Saudi policemen on instruction from Islamic State, in the first alleged attack by the group inside the kingdom.

Islamic State last year called on followers in the kingdom to carry out attacks against Saudi authorities, Western expatriates and members of the Shi’ite Muslim minority there instead of traveling to Syria or Iraq to join the group.

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