RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – A terror suspect surrendered to Saudi (search) police, and a Western diplomat said Islamic militants are going after the security officials who are hunting them.
The Islamic militant who turned himself in, Mansour Mohammed Ahmed Faqih (search), is 14th on an official list of 26 wanted terror suspects. His face was among those published in a newspaper advertisement in which the government offered rewards of $270,000 for information leading to their arrests.
Faqih, 22, went into hiding shortly after his 18-year-old brother Hassan Faqih (search) was arrested in connection with homicide attacks on May 12, biographical details in the government-guided newspapers said this month. The May 12 attacks killed 52 people,
The newspaper said Ahmed Faqih's elder brother Fahd Faqih was killed in Afghanistan in the 1990s.
The official Saudi Press Agency, which reported Tuesday's surrender, quoted an unidentified Interior Ministry official as saying "initiatives that indicate a serious desire to return to the path of righteousness will be appreciated."
Saudi authorities have detained as many as 600 people since the May 12 attacks, and urged wanted persons to surrender.
Bit increasingly, the militants are targeting the men who are hunting them, according to the diplomat.
An explosion Monday in Riyadh was aimed at a top official of the Interior Ministry's Mabahith branch, the Saudi equivalent of the FBI, the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity,
Saudi Interior Ministry officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday about the incident, but police have told The Associated Press that a car sped by the official's parked vehicle and a passenger tossed something toward it, causing an explosion. Nobody was hurt by the blast.
The diplomat said a similar strike earlier this month tried to kill the kingdom's top counterterrorism official, Maj. Gen. Abdulaziz al-Huweirini. The attack has not been reported in the Saudi media.
The militant's biggest attacks came May 12 and Nov. 8 when homicide car bombers killed 52 people, including themselves, and wounded more than 100 others at housing compounds for foreigners in Riyadh. Saudi and U.S. officials have blamed both those attacks on Saudi exile Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terror network.
Since the attacks, the diplomat said, heightened security measures and a crackdown by the Saudi security services have impeded the militants' ability to carry out a large-scale attack.
Interior Ministry has substantially bolstered security around embassies, government buildings and foreigners' housing complexes.
Both the United States and Britain have warned there could be further attacks.
On Sunday, the British government warned a terrorist attack could be in the final stages of preparation in Saudi Arabia. On Dec. 17, the U.S. State Department advised nonessential American diplomats and their families to leave the kingdom, and recommended that private U.S. citizens consider leaving as well.
Last month, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said the recent attacks appeared to be aimed at bringing down Saudi Arabia's ruling royal family, and Saudi officials made the same point after the November car bombing.
Bin Laden has long been opposed the royal family, saying it is insufficiently Islamic and too close to the United States. Saudi authorities have stripped bin Laden of his citizenship in the kingdom.