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AL QAEDA’S ARMS CACHE FOUND IN SAUDIA

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Saudi officials said, on Sunday 11/01/2009, they have found a large arms cache near Riyadh, linking it to a dismantled Al Qaeda cell (see also – Riyadh HQ Bombing ).

It contained nearly 300 assault rifles and some 41,000 rounds of ammunition. The weapons are believed to be linked to 44 suspected members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, whose arrests were announced in August (see – SA Arrests 08.19.09).

Saudi Arabia has detained scores of suspected Islamist militants since Al Qaeda stepped up its campaign of bombings across the kingdom in 2003.

The Saudi government has recently expressed its concern about the resurgence in Yemen of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is aligned with Osama Bin Laden’s international network and led by a former associate.

The group is said to have been behind the suicide bombing in the port of Jeddah at the end of August which injured Assistant Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (see – Jeddah 08.27.09).

According to the AP, Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, the interior ministry spokesman, said police learned about the cache after investigating a group of Al Qaeda suspects detained in August. He stated the weapons were found buried in a vacant house in the capital. According to him, police forces are searching for the owners of the house whom they suspects of having links with Al Qaeda.

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