Two Yemen-based militants dressed as women, one of whom was a former Guantánamo prisoner, were intercepted at a Saudi checkpoint last week.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The discovery by Saudi police of two Al Qaeda extremists wearing explosive vests in preparation for an "imminent" suicide attack underscores yet again the rising threat to Saudi Arabia from the deteriorating security situation in neighboring Yemen.
The target of the foiled Oct. 13 attack is not yet known, Ministry of Interior spokesman Gen. Mansour Al Turki said Monday. But equipment found in the men's car last week, including explosives, machine guns, grenades, and two additional vests, suggests that the operation would have been significant – potentially resulting in the loss of many lives.
The men, one of whom spent several years in the US detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had been sent to Saudi Arabia by an Al Qaeda affiliate based in Yemen, according to a Saudi Interior Ministry statement. Their foiled attack was the second close call for Saudi security forces in less than two months involving Saudi militants from the Yemen-based group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
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