Four Saudi men have been sentenced to death for their role in one of the kingdom’s “bloodiest terror cells”, official SPA news agency has reported.
The agency said late Sunday that a special criminal court in Riyadh jailed “as many as 20” others for between two and 23 years for a variety of crimes.
These included embracing “deviant” thinking contrary to the Koran, a term usually used in Saudi Arabia to refer to Al-Qaeda suspects.
The defendants were also convicted of fighting abroad and purchasing five tonnes of aluminium nitrate — which can be used to make explosives.
They were also found guilty of booby-trapping vehicles to kill policemen, carrying out suicide bombings inside the country, planning to explode oil pipelines and killing foreigners as well as Islamic religious leaders, SPA said.
The convicted were given 30 days to appeal the verdicts.
SPA did not say when the offences occurred but the sentences are the latest in a series since authorities in 2011 established specialised courts to try Saudis and foreigners accused of belonging to Al-Qaeda or involvement in deadly attacks in the kingdom from 2003-2006.
Officials in National Security Directorate department NDS have arrested two terrorists whom were willing to carry explosive items into Kabul city, they have added that the following explosive items under the supervision of Pakistan ISI were loaded into a big Larry and deployed to Afghanistan.
NDS spokesman Abdul Hasib Sediqi said, “The enemies were trying to carry in the explosive items by using the cement bags from Pakistan to Afghanistan, which the truck was stopped at the 21 precinct of Kabul city by the National security directorate staffs.”
He claimed that the terrorist’s objects were to destroy different parts of Kabul city and willing to expand their terrorist activities within Afghanistan.
Officials in NDS department have claimed the following explosive items were Aluminum Nitrate which mines for destroying areas are made of.
Numerous version exist online
Mixing fine Aluminum powder with Aluminum Nitrate
The 1998 United States embassy bombings were a series of attacks that occurred on August 7, 1998, in which hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the embassies of the United States in the East African cities of Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. The date of the bombings marked the eighth anniversary of the arrival of American forces in Saudi Arabia.
The basic truck bomb was TNT, Aluminum Nitrate and Powdered Aluminum.
In 2013 – The Interior Ministry was able to direct a qualitative blow to a
terrorist cell that was planning suicide operations against vital, important
and foreign facilities in the country,” Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said.
At a news conference on May 11, Ibrahim said three alleged cell members
were arrested and interrogated. The minister said the Al Qaida suspects,
trained in Iran and Pakistan, possessed 10 kilograms of chemicals, including aluminum nitrate, used in the making of bombs. Police were also said to have found a computer manual published by Al Qaida Organization in the Islamic Maghreb.
Officials identified the detainees as Amr Abu Al El Aqida, Mohammed
Hameida Saleh and Mohammed Bayouni. They said the three suspects were ordered by an Al Qaida commander in Pakistan, identified as Daoud Al Assadi,
to contact another insurgency cell in Cairo.
“Security forces arrested members of a terrorist cell planned a suicide
attack on the embassy of Western and other targets in the country,” Ibrahim
This marked the second Islamist plot reported by the Islamist government
of President Mohammed Morsi over the last eight months. In April, Egypt
adjourned the trial of the so-called Nasser City cell, 26 Islamist
defendants, including two former military officers, charged with planning
attacks against the regime. Officials said the three detainees were linked
to the Nasser City group.
Officials said the latest cell was linked to Al Qaida in Central Asia
and Turkey. They said members were believed to have been directed by Al
Qaida-aligned militias in Syria.
Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said at a news conference that the suspects had been arrested with 22 pounds of explosive materials and instructions on how to make bombs and build rockets and model airplanes to use in the attacks.
He said the suspects were “on the verge” of attacking an embassy when they were arrested.
He did not identify the embassy, but Egyptian officials have told their American counterparts that the United States Embassy was a target, a Western diplomat said.
The State Department would not comment on the Egyptian allegations. “We don’t discuss the specifics of our operations nor the exchanges we have with foreign officials,” said Jennifer R. Psaki, a department spokeswoman.
Mr. Ibrahim denied that Al Qaeda was active in Egypt, but said the three men had communicated online with a Qaeda figure in Pakistan and that one of them had traveled to Iran and Pakistan to receive military training.
He said a raid on their homes found 22 pounds of aluminum nitrate, which can be used to make explosives; computers containing instructions on how to make bombs, model airplanes and rockets; information on intelligence gathering; and materials published by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the network’s North African affiliate.
The suspects, identified as Amr Abu al-Ela Aqida, Muhammad Hameida Saleh and Muhammad Bayouni, were told by the Qaeda leader, Dawoud al-Asadi, to get in touch with a terrorist cell in the Cairo neighborhood of Nasr City, that security forces broke up last year, as well as with militants in Sinai, Mr. Ibrahim said.
The men had acquired the material to make explosives, he said, and had discussed whether it was better to use a car bomb or explosives detonated by remote control. Late Saturday, a state security prosecutor ordered that two of the men be detained for 15 days while the charges were investigated, according to the Web site of a state newspaper, Al Ahram. The third was put under house arrest while he is questioned.
Many Egyptians worry that extremist groups could take advantage of Egypt’s security vacuum since the revolution in 2011.
In August of last year, 16 Egyptian border guards were killed in Sinai in an attack attributed to Islamic militants.