RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – The interior minister warned of more terrorist acts in Saudi Arabia (search), pointing to a new list of 36 wanted suspects who belong to the same group responsible for attacks in the past two years, an official news agency reported Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia suffered a series of heavy attacks since May 2003 when bombers attacked three housing estates for foreigners in the capital Riyadh. The kingdom then launched a wave of retaliatory raids against the militants.
"We didn't and haven't said that terror acts are over. Had they been over, we wouldn't have announced the new list," Interior Minister Prince Nayef said in comments reported by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi Arabia issued its new list of 36 wanted terrorists on Tuesday, many of them young operatives who already may have fled abroad — possibly to Iraq — amid a fierce crackdown on Al Qaeda's (search) network in the kingdom. Security forces have killed or captured 23 of 26 figures on the first wanted terrorist list put out in December 2003.
But, Nayef warned: "The possibility of more crimes still stands."
Nayef said the suspects on the new list of 36 "participated in all the terror activities of the old list of 26. ... It is the same group and has the same instructions and they are totally connected to the old group, but their execution may differ."
The new list includes 29 Saudis, three Chadians, a Moroccan, a Kuwaiti, a Yemeni and a Mauritanian. Those remaining from the first list include Saleh al-Aoofi (search), considered to be the top leader of Al Qaeda's branch in Saudi Arabia, and Talib Saud Abdullah al-Talib (search), both Saudis.
"We cannot discount what these people can do. All our security forces are active and capable of getting to them. Any act they carry out will fail and we will determine who carries it out."