Saudis hold 10 for 'terror funds'


Feb 3, 2007

Ten people have been arrested in Saudi Arabia on suspicion of funding terror-related activities, the interior ministry has said.

The arrests follow evidence in a high-level US report that Saudi Arabia has been a source of funding for the insurgency in Iraq.

Nine Saudis and a foreign national resident in the country were held in three raids in Jeddah and Medina.

It is unclear if the 10 have links to al-Qaeda, the ministry said.

They were arrested for collecting money for "suspicious parties".


An interior ministry statement said the money was being used to lure "the sons of the nation to disturbed places", which correspondents say is probably a reference to neighbouring Iraq.

Seven of the Saudis and the foreigner were arrested while meeting in Jeddah on Friday night. The two other Saudis were held in separate raids in Jeddah and Medina.

The nationality of the foreign detainee has not been released.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has been responsible for a highly visible campaign to search out militants sympathetic to al-Qaeda among its citizens.

The BBC's Julia Wheeler in Dubai says the Saudi authorities are now keen to dispel the claims of the US Iraq Study Group report that said Saudi Arabia has been a source of funding for the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.

The interior ministry issued a statement on 22 January warning against collecting money for unregistered organisations.