Saudi Arabia foils attack on Mecca mosque

Saudi security forces foil attack targeting the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

Saudi flag
Saudi flag

Security forces in Saudi Arabia on Friday foiled a terror plot targeting the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Al-Arabiya reported.

Security forces said the operation was planned by three terrorist groups, two based in Mecca and the third in Jeddah. The foiled attack targeted worshipers at the mosque, it added.

The first operation was foiled in Mecca in Assila district, while the second was thwarted in Ajyad al-Masafi neighborhood, according to Al-Arabiya.

A suicide bomber, who was hiding in a house in the Ajyad neighborhood, opened fire on security forces and refused to comply with calls to turn himself in. He later blew himself up after a crackdown on him, the report said.

Security forces arrested five of those suspected of involvement in the terror plot, including a woman. The suspects are currently being investigated.

The foiled attack comes amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, its regional rival, though it is unclear as of yet whether Iran is involved in the plot.

Iran recently blamed Saudi Arabia for attacks on the Iranian parliament and the shrine of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which were claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS).

Earlier this week, Iran blasted the appointment of Mohammed Bin Salman to the position of crown prince and successor to Saudi Arabia's King Salman, calling it a "soft coup". The new crown prince is known for his strong anti-Iran views.

Last week, the Saudi navy said it captured three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) from a boat which approached Saudi Arabia’s offshore Marjan oilfield.

Iran denied the captured individuals were IRGC members and said they are simple fishermen.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)