Saudi Arabia Indicts Nearly 1,000 Suspected Terrorists

By Matthew Harwood

Saudi authorities have indicted nearly 1,000 suspected terrorists for attacks within the kingdom over the past five years, according to the Associated Press.

In a statement summarized by the AP, Prince Nayef explained the reasons for the mass indictment:

The 991 suspects ...have been responsible for more than 30 attacks in Saudi Arabia since May 2003, killing 164 people, including 74 security officials. A further 160 attacks have been foiled, he added. The statement did not specify the nationality of the suspects or whether all were in custody.

Saudi Arabia, however, has to proceed cautiously when trying these suspected terrorists, reports the AP. Throughout the kingdom, there is some popular support for jihadists that fight in occupied Islamic countries. Many Saudi nationals that have either been released from the American prisons in Guantanamo Bay or returned from fighting in Iraq have been placed in rehabilitation programs to wean them off radical Islam and reintroduce them into society.

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The rehabilitation programs, which are part of the kingdom's overall soft approach to counterterrorism, have been hugely successful, according to a paper from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Presently, it reports, "recidivist and rearrest rates are extremely low, at approximately 1 to 2 percent."

There is some confusion as to when the trials will begin. According to the AP, they may start immediately or they may start after the al-Adha feast, as some papers have reported.


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