Saudis Arrest 400 in Anti-Terror Sweep
Announcement comes day after devastating ISIS bomb in Iraq
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 18, 2015 10:55 AM CDT
Civilians inspect the aftermath of a suicide car bombing at a busy market in Iraq on Friday. ISIS claimed responsibility.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

(Newser) – Saudi Arabia announced today it has broken up planned Islamic State attacks in the kingdom and arrested more than 400 suspects in an anti-terrorism sweep. The Saudi Interior Ministry accused those arrested over the past few weeks of involvement in several attacks, including a suicide bombing in May that killed 22 people in the eastern village of al-Qudeeh. It was the deadliest militant assault in the kingdom in more than a decade. The Saudi crackdown underscores the OPEC powerhouse's growing concern about the threat posed by ISIS, which in addition to its operations in Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility for recent suicide bombings aimed at Shiites in the kingdom's oil-rich east and in next-door Kuwait.

The announcement comes a day after a powerful blast in neighboring Iraq killed more than 100 people in one of the country's deadliest single attacks since US troops pulled out in 2011. The Interior Ministry said that in June it thwarted a suicide bomb attack on a large mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia that can hold 3,000 worshippers, along with multiple planned attacks on other mosques and diplomatic and security bodies. Thee arrests are aimed in part to reassure the country's Shiite minority, who long have complained of discrimination in the kingdom, which is governed by an ultraconservative interpretation of Sunni Islam.