Makkah: A number of Islamic personalities and pilgrims have denounced the failed terrorist plan to attack holy sites outside Makkah.
Yesterday, the Interior Ministry said police arrested 28 men for allegedly planning to attack holy sites around Makkah and Madinah. The ministry said 27 of the men were Saudis and one was a foreigner.
"Thanks to God, the security forces managed to detain members of the deviated group who have links with elements outside [the kingdom] while planning to carry out criminal acts inside," a statement by the Interior Ministry statement said. "For security interests we will not divulge more details at present."
In press statements on Sunday, Mohammad Bin Yahya Al Nujaimi, head of research and civil studies at King Fahd Security College and member of the Interior Ministry's Counselling Commission, said such plots are the outcome of deviated ideologies.
"These people want to defame the image of Islam," he added. He urged Muslims to stand firmly against such criminal plans.
Shaikh Falah Bin Humoud Al Dossary, imam of Ali Bin Talib Mosque in the Saudi National Guard Compound, said terrorism is a result of ignorance of the true Islamic teachings. He urged Muslims to adopt moderate stances.
"To face these deviated ideologies, it is important to aware Muslims of the true Islamic teachings," said Shaikh Durman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Durman, Saudi researcher in criminal policy.
Speaking to Gulf News, a number of Arab pilgrims expressed their appreciation to the security authorities for foiling the plot.
Abdullah, a pilgrim from Egypt, noted that if the plotters had succeeded in their terrorist attacks, lives of millions of pilgrims would have been at stake.
Mohammad Ali, a Sud-anese pilgrim, denounced the plot and called for more cooperation between Arab, Muslim and other countries in fighting terrorism.
An Iraqi pilgrim said: "Praise be to God for the foiling of the terrorist plots and the protection of pilgrims from the evil of this terror group."
- With additional inputs from AP