Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 18:09 pm (KSA) 15:09 pm (GMT)

Saudi Arabia publishes global 'most wanted' list

The list includes 83 Saudis and two Yemenis (File)
The list includes 83 Saudis and two Yemenis (File)

Saudi Arabia published on Monday a list of 85 suspected militants wanted around the world who it said had been drawn to "deviant" ideologies -- a reference to al-Qaeda, and called on them to turn themselves in to authorities and "return to a normal life."

The list, published by the official news agency SPA, includes 83 Saudis and two Yemenis and calls for the suspects to turn themselves in to the authorities.

Saudi television read the names and showed photographs of the wanted men, who it said had "adopted the straying ideology," a reference to al-Qaeda.

The list was released by the interior ministry following news in January that at least nine men the Saudi government had put through a militant rehabilitation process, including several ex-inmates of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, had been rearrested.

In Monday's statement, the government said that 15 suspected militants previously sought by the government had turned themselves in, and that the list would be given to the international policing agency INTERPOL.

Battling militants

OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia has been grappling with mainly home-grown armed militants linked to al-Qaeda, many of whom live abroad, who have waged a string of attacks against Western targets and oil facilities since May 2003.

Al-Qaeda's wing in Yemen, Osama bin Laden's ancestral home, last month issued a video on the Internet, in which it changed its name to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, in an apparent attempt to revive the militant group in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Qaeda's Saudi wing launched a campaign to destabilize the world's largest oil exporter in 2003, but the violence was brought to a halt after a long campaign of arrests.

Saudi Arabia also put hundreds of militants through a rehabilitation program which included education by clerics to "correct" their thinking and financial help to start a new life.

But the kingdom admitted last month that some of those released had rejoined militant groups, and that nine, including Guantanamo returnees, were re-arrested.

The authorities said in October that the attacks in the kingdom had killed a total of 90 civilians -- both foreigners and Saudis, and 74 members of the security forces.

Saudi Arabia said then that it plans to put in the dock almost 1,000 defendants in the first trials of al-Qaeda suspects.

Comments »

Post Your Comment »

Social Media »