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Saudi Arabia Claims Foiled IS Attack, Dismantled Foreign Spy Ring

Saudi special security forces show their skills during a military parade at a base near Mount Arafat, southeast of the holy city of Mecca - File photo.

Saudi Arabia said on September 12 that it foiled an Islamic State plot to bomb its defense ministry headquarters, while separately dismantling an alleged spy ring in the kingdom

Security officials said on state media that two Yemenis living under aliases in the kingdom were planning to use suicide vests to bomb ministry buildings in the capital Riyadh. They were arrested along with two Saudi citizens also suspected of involvement in the attack, officials said.

Authorities said they seized grenades and firearms during the operation to foil the attack.

Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab coalition providing air support for the Yemeni government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi as it battles Huthi rebels backed by Iran.

IS has for years criticized the leadership of Saudi Arabia, accusing it of deviating from their strict interpretation of Islam and advancing the interests of the United States.

The Saudi Press Agency described the busted spy ring as made up of "Saudis and foreigners" who wanted to "stir up sedition." It said they worked for "the benefit of foreign parties against the security of the kingdom and its interests."

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters