(MENAFN - Arab Times) Spokesman of the Interior Ministry Major General Mansour Alturki has announced that recently arrested operatives of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), 431 in number, were divided into three working groups.
The first group comprised 97 elements who were arrested in links to a bombing attack on worshipers in the village of Dalwa in Ahsa and the shooting attack on public security patrol in east Riyadh, in which two security men were killed, Alturki said in a press conference Saturday.
He added that the second group included 190 elements who were detained in relation to three terror incidents; two bombing attacks targeted worshipers at the mosque of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib in the town of Al-Qudaih, the Mosque of Al-Hussein Bin Ali in the district of Anoud in Dammam and shooting assault which targeted a security patrol in the capital Riyadh.
The third group, made up of 144 elements, was responsible for ISIL infrascture in the Kingdom as well as the recruitment of new members and promotion of the group's ideas, Alturki pointed out.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Bassam Attiyah suggested that ISIL strategy divides the Kingdom into a number of regions and assigns operatives in each region with certain tasks with the main objective of instigating sectarian sedition and chaos.
He stated that the overwhelming majority of those arrested are Saudi citizens while others came from Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Nigeria and Chad.
Attiyah said that the arrested ISIL elements had formed four cells in coordination with the organizations' leaders abroad. Each one was given a role.
The first two shared the task of the field monitoring of targeted sites whether mosques, government installations or security men. The third cell assumed the task of preparing and transporting the suicide bombers to the targets and video recording of the attacks. The fourth cell was responsible for making explosive belts, Attiyah said.
He pointed out that the ISIL leadership abroad prepares plans and set schedules for its criminal attacks inside the Kingdom with a view to causing chaos and instability.
Earlier, the Interior Ministry said it foiled planned terrorist attacks that would have hit various parts of the Kingdom, and arrested 431 suspects of different nationalities, linked to ISIL.
Saudi security bodies have found documents, communication devices, explosive materials, arms and ammunition smuggled from abroad, the ministry said.
It noted that up to 37 security men and citizens were killed in the operations against the ISIL cells, while 120 others were wounded.
Saudi Arabia branded the Islamic State group a terrorist organization last year and has joined the US-led coalition targeting it in Syria and Iraq. Authorities have vowed to punish those responsible for terrorist attacks inside the kingdom, the Arab world's largest economy.
Dubai-based geopolitical analyst Theodore Karasik said the arrests are aimed at part on reassuring the country's Shiite minority, who long have complained of discrimination in the kingdom, which is governed by an ultraconservative interpretation of Sunni Islam.
"It sends a message that the Ministry of Interior is not losing a grip and wraps up the potential nodes of DAESH recruits in the kingdom," he said, using an alternate name for the group.