Manama: Saudi Arabia is planning to install surveillance cameras in the more than 95,000 mosques registered in the kingdom, a senior official has said.
“The project is still in the experimental stage and we have reached agreements with specialised companies to cover all the mosques with surveillance cameras,” Tawfeeq Al Sudairi, the deputy minister for Islamic affairs, said.
“There is complete coordination between us and the security agencies regarding the matter and as soon as the experiments are over, we will start covering the mosques with cameras. We will start with the most important mosques as part of the long-term project,” he told Saudi daily Okaz.
A special operations room with direct links to the mosques will be set up at the ministry, he added.
Three mosques in Saudi Arabia last year and in January came under attack by suicide bombers, resulting in deaths and injuries.
In January, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque in Al Ahsa in the Eastern Province during Friday prayers, killing himself and four other people.
In August, a suicide bomber killed 15 people, 12 security officers and three employees, in an attack on a mosque used by members of a local security force in southwest Saudi Arabia.
Earlier in May, a suicide bomber blew himself up during Friday prayers at a mosque in the village of Al Qadeeh in the Eastern Province, killing 21 and wounding 81 others.
The terrorist attacks have prompted the authorities to tighten control around and inside mosques as part of tougher measures to tackle the growing phenomenon and to deal with threats to worshippers.