53 terror suspects arrested during Haj

53-terror-suspects-arrested-during-haj

Source: Saudi Gazette

The security authorities arrested 53 terror suspects between Dhul Hijjah 1 and Dhul Hijjah 9.

The terror suspects included 30 Saudis, 13 Bahrainis, and the rest from seven different nationalities.

On Dhul Hijjah 1, 17 suspects were arrested, who included nine Bahrainis, three Pakistanis, two Saudis, two Yemeni, and one Sudanese.

On Dhul Hijjah 3, five suspects were arrested. They included two Bahrainis, two Saudis, and one Yemeni.

On Dhul Hijjah 4, 12 suspects were arrested, half of them were Saudis, two were Bahrainis, two Yemenis, one Syrian, and one Iraqi.

On Dhul Hijjah 5, two Saudis and one Syrian were arrested.

On Dhul Hijjah 6, one Saudi was arrested.

On Dhul Hijjah 7 and 8, five Saudis were arrested.

On Arafat Day, 10 Saudis were arrested.

This Haj season saw an unprecedented security for pilgrims. Saudi officers kept eyes on every route and gathering spot.

An “eye” which never closes formed the heart of the command and control center located in Mina, said Col. Saad Al-Dosari, its planning chief.

Another officer, Capt. Tareq Al-Azam, said that his dozens-strong team had been on duty around the clock monitoring this year’s 1.8 million pilgrims.

More than 5,000 cameras were installed in the entire Makkah sector covering a radius of around 10 kilometers (six miles) around its Grand Mosque.

From his vantage point, the captain could direct the cameras and was able to zoom in to investigate any suspicious-looking or potentially dangerous activity.

The job of the security team was “to survey the screens to detect any problem or any blockage” in the constant stream of pilgrims navigating the Holy Sites, explained Al-Dosari.

If any anomaly is detected, “they inform the operations center to prevent any problem before it can even happen.”

Dozens of soldiers were posted at the center, located a few meters away, with headphones on and microphones at the ready to pass on information to the tens of thousands of members of the security forces on the ground.