Saudi Arabian officials have arrested 135 individuals on terrorism charges following an Islamic State-supported attack last month in the country’s Eastern Province.
In November, Islamic affiliated jihadis stormed a Shiite parade in the country, killing seven. The group has also claimed responsibility for the recent shooting of a Danish national in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh, Bloomberg reported. 17 of the 135 were brought up on charges directly related to the attack on the Shiite celebration. Officials said they found documentation that “revealed contact between this terrorist organization and Daesh [Islamic State] abroad.”
While most of the suspects were Saudi nationals, 26 had origins in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bahrain, and Ethiopia, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki said that the individuals charged have been accused of waging jihad abroad, recruiting young aspiring holy warriors to help them fight, financing terror operations, manufacturing explosives, and belonging to terrorist organizations.
Separately, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah announced Monday that he was appointing new cabinet members to oversee the country’s universities and mosques. Both are seen as institutions where radical Islamist extremist ideals are promulgated by local clerics.
Saudi Arabia is a member of the U.S.-led coalition that has been fighting an aerial campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
In November, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called for his supporters to carry out jihadist attacks against Saudi Arabia and its leadership. He said in an audio recording: “O sons of al-Haramayn [Mecca and Medina]…the serpent’s head and the stronghold of the disease are there…draw your swords and divorce life, because there should be no security for the Saloul.”