Saudi Arabian officials said, on Tuesday 10/21/2008, they indicted nearly 1,000 suspected Islamic militants, saying the country was a target for an organized terror campaign.

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz said in a statement the campaign was aimed at undermining the country’s lifestyle and economy and had a direct link to Al Qaeda.

In addition to the 991 indicted Tuesday, Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz said others would be would be indicted and tried.

Militants carried out more than 30 operations inside Saudi Arabia during several years, killing 74 security personnel and injuring 657 other law enforcement officials, Naif said. The operations also killed 90 civilians and injured 439 others, which include Saudis and foreigners.

Prince Naif described the various crimes of bombing, kidnapping and terrorizing people in the Kingdom as crimes of “Haraba” — a Qur’anic term defined as “sowing corruption and chaos on earth”, and is considered one of the most grievous crimes for which punishments up to death have been set out in the Shariah.

Saudi Arabia began an aggressive anti-terror campaign in 05/2003, after the Riyadh Suicide Attacks when Al Qaeda affiliated militants began attacks against foreigners, oil installations and security forces, reported KUNA, the Kuwaiti news agency.

A panel of appointed judges on Monday received documents presented by the prosecution, though the actual hearings have not yet begun.

The panel will begin reviewing individual cases against the detainees. The hearings are expected to begin soon, though no date has been set. Six judges out of the 12-member panel have started reviewing the cases.

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