69 Pakistanis in Saudi jails on terror charges

Islamabad/Jeddah, Jan 24 (IANS) A Pakistani woman was arrested in Jeddah on terror charges, taking the total number of Pakistanis arrested in Saudi Arabia for alleged involvement in terror activities to 69, media reports said.

On Saturday, Saudi security forces rounded up Fatima Ramadan Balochi Murad along with her Saudi husband from an apartment in al-Naseem district, the Saudi Gazette reported.

Murad was detained in a security operation launched after a firefight and subsequent blowing up of two suspected terrorists in Jeddah on Saturday.

In July last year, a Pakistani suspect, Abdullah Qalzar Khan, blew himself up near Solaiman Fakeih Hospital in Jeddah, which led to the arrest of as many as 49 Pakistani residents who were put under interrogation.

A terrorism operation attempt was also foiled last October in Jeddah. It involved two Pakistanis – Solaiman Arab Deen and Farman Naqshaband Khan. They had planned to carry out blasts in Al-Jowhara Stadium.

According to Saudi Gazette, Fatima was “a Pakistani woman married to wanted Saudi terrorist Hussam Al-Johani”. Her arrest “is further proof that terrorist organizations are still recruiting women to use them in terror operations”.

“Terrorists, hit by preemptive security operations, had no other option but to recruit women to help them carry out their heinous crimes”, it said, quoting security sources.

“They took advantage of the respect given to the privacy of women by the Saudi government and its security forces.

Spokesman of the Interior Ministry Maj. Gen Mansour Al-Turki said terrorists were exploiting the respect for the privacy of women especially at security checkpoints.

“The recruitment of women by terrorists is not a new phenomenon, but the number of such women is still very little,” he said.

“According to the ministry’s statements, the exploitation of women has remarkably dropped and has come down to terrorists recruiting their own wives,” the Gazette said.

The Saudi interior ministry has revealed that 5,085 terror suspects from 40 countries were undergoing detention in five intelligence prisons in the kingdom.

“There are 4,254 Saudis detained in intelligence prisons constituting the largest number of suspects,” it said.

The Saudis are followed by 282 Yemenis and 218 Syrians. There are three suspects from the US and one each from France, Belgium and Canada, it said.

–IANS

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