JEDDAH, Feb 4: Saudi security forces arrested 10 people on Friday night on suspicion of having illegally collected donations to fund “suspicious parties” that use the money to deceive and send Saudis to “disturbed areas,” an Interior Ministry statement said yesterday.
Seven Saudis and a foreigner were arrested at a rest house in the east of Jeddah, according to sources. Two other Saudis were arrested in Madinah, said Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki. He did not provide additional information on the detainees’ identities. The suspects are undergoing interrogation, he said.
Al-Turki told Arab News that the money was collected and smuggled to “suspicious parties” outside the country but he did not name any country. He added that investigations were still going on in order to discover the methods used in collecting the donations and if there were other individuals involved. “We know of the group’s activity as a whole but we also need to define the role of each of the arrested members,” Al-Turki added. The ministry statement, which apparently refers to Iraq, said: “Security forces, in the framework of their efforts to fight terrorism and its funding have arrested a group of suspects believed to be responsible for collecting donations illegally and smuggling the money to suspicious groups that use it in deceiving the sons of this nation and dragging them to disturbed areas.” The statement said that action would be taken against the guilty.
In December, the United States bipartisan Iraq Study Group published a report that Saudi Arabia had been a source of funding for the Sunni insurgency in Iraq since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Many Saudis have reportedly crossed the border into Iraq and taken part in the insurgency there.