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Saudi Arabia Arrests 2 People Accused of Plotting Attacks

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi security forces arrested a Syrian man accused of plotting attacks and his Filipino accomplice in a raid on an illegal explosives factory in Riyadh, the Interior Ministry said Saturday, according to the state news agency SPA.

The ministry said the two people arrested in Wednesday’s raid belonged to a “deviant group” — a term used by Saudi authorities to refer to Al Qaeda or the Islamic State group. It identified the Syrian man as Yaser Mohammed al-Barrazi.

Saudi Arabia has this year been grappling with a rising radical Sunni Muslim militancy linked to the Islamic State group, which operates mainly in Iraq and Syria and is also known as ISIS or ISIL.

The group says it wants to overthrow the Persian Gulf Arab states’ ruling dynasties and has called on Saudi Sunnis to carry out attacks inside the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has arrested hundreds of people said to be sympathizers, and this year Islamic State suicide bombers have attacked Shiite mosques in the Eastern Province and in Kuwait.

Two explosive belts and bomb-making equipment were found in the raid on Wednesday in Riyadh, the capital, the SPA news agency reported.

On Thursday, the American Embassy in Riyadh put out a new security warning to American citizens in Saudi Arabia.

The embassy gave no specific details on the nature of the threat.

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(via NY Times)