RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – A Saudi Arabian newspaper said Sunday that suspected Al Qaeda terrorists were allegedly able to smuggle eight Chinese-made missiles into the kingdom before they were arrested as part of a terror sweep.
The daily Okaz, which is deemed close to the government, quoting unnamed officials as saying militants wanted to use the missiles to allegedly target hotels and other buildings in the kingdom.
The newspaper did not further describe the missiles.
The Saudi Interior Ministry last week announced that it made its largest terror sweep to date, arresting 208 Al Qaeda-linked militants in six separate arrests in recent months. One of the alleged terror cells was led by a non-Saudi missile expert, the ministry said.
The ministry said members of that cell were planning to smuggle eight missiles into the kingdom to carry out terrorist operations, but it did not say what kind of missiles or what the targets were. Okaz reported Sunday that the missiles were already inside Saudi Arabia.
The newspaper also quoted Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki as saying the leadership of another one of the alleged terror cells was based in another country. Al-Turki did not name the country.
Last week, the Interior Ministry said authorities arrested 112 alleged members of that cell during the terror sweep. The ministry said the cell was trying to smuggle men to Iraq and Afghanistan for training, after which they would be brought back to Saudi Arabia to try to carry out attacks in the kingdom.