Saudi says foiled plot to bomb World Cup football match, eight suspects arrested
Saudi Arabia said it has foiled a plot to bomb a World Cup 2018 qualifying game between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in October.
Officials said the plot involved a car bombing at the football match that took place at the Jawhara Stadium in the Red Sea city of Jedda.
According to the Saudi Interior Ministry, officials have also foiled a second plot allegedly planned by Islamic State (IS) militants to attack security officials in the Shaqra district, north of the capital Riyadh.
However, the football match went ahead without any obstruction and Saudi Arabia won the match with 3-0 margin.
Eight people, including alleged ISIS suspects, have been arrested in connection with the planned attacks. Officials said that the detained people include Saudi nationals, two Pakistanis, a Syrian and a Sudanese.
An interior ministry spokesperson was quoted by Gulf News as saying: “Tighter security measures were taken and more troops were deployed to ensure prompt and decisive action against any suspect or suspicious activity.”
“Greater field work resulted in the identification and arrest of the suspects one day before the match,” he added.
Authorities have published a list of several more suspects wanted for their alleged involvement in planning attacks. Interior ministry asked the suspects to surrender and offered financial rewards for helping to arrest the suspects.
Meanwhile, the ministry warned civilians to cautious, saying “those who dealt with the suspects in the past and were used to provide them with services should see this statement as an opportunity to clarify with the security agencies their stances in order to avoid being held as accomplices or legally accountable for their acts.”
For the last two years, Saudi has been witnessing number of terrorist attack carried out by Islamic State militants. A suicide bomber killed four security officers in July and injured five others near Medina.