Saudi Arabia says it broke up IS network, arrests 431 members
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Saudi Arabia says it broke up IS network, arrests 431 members

Riyadh claims cells were involved in several attacks and plots against kingdom

Saudi Arabia's King Salman attends a ceremony at the Diwan royal palace in Riyadh, January 24, 2015. (AP/Yoan Valat, File)
Saudi Arabia's King Salman attends a ceremony at the Diwan royal palace in Riyadh, January 24, 2015. (AP/Yoan Valat, File)

Saudi authorities announced Saturday that they have broken up an organization linked to the Islamic State group and have so far arrested 431 of its members, mostly Saudis.

Authorities have “managed over the past few weeks to destroy an organization made of a cluster of cells, which is linked to the terrorist Daesh organization,” the interior ministry said, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

Network members were engaged in a “plot managed from areas of unrest abroad, with the aim of sowing sectarian sedition and spreading chaos,” the ministry said.

The cells were involved in several attacks and plots, including the deadly suicide bombings that hit Shiite mosques in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, it said.

The Islamic State, which considers Shiites heretics, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

IS controls swathes of neighboring Iraq and Syria, and has claimed widespread abuses including the beheading of foreign hostages.

Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Gulf neighbours last year joined a US-led military coalition bombing IS in Syria, raising concerns about possible retaliation in the kingdom.

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