Hmmm, it's probably easier to bust the plots when they're hatched in your backyard and under your nose and some of it you've likely been involved in. Either way, assuming this is accurate, good for them.
I have to figure that the Saudis will treat these jackals worse than the foul treatment at Gitmo, hopefully their justice will be swift and sure, no chance for a terrorist act to try and bargain for their release. At least they're not in Italy.
Saudis say they've busted massive terror plot
(CNN) -- Saudi security forces have arrested scores of suspects in a terror plot involving attacks on senior officials and government oil, military and security installations, a Saudi intelligence official said Friday.
The official said that the nine months-long terror sweep netted 172 militants -- members of cells that make up the al Qaeda network the Saudis have been tracking for years.
Some of those arrested had trained abroad as pilots so they could fly aircraft in attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil fields, the Interior Ministry said Friday, according to The Associated Press.
The operation was launched with intelligence gleaned from the interrogations of suspects arrested in the unsuccessful February 2006 strike on an oil processing facility in the desert kingdom, an official told CNN. (Watch CNN's Nic Robertson explain terror plot)
That intelligence official said some of those arrested in the latest roundup had flight manuals, but "they have no real flight training capabilities."
The Interior Ministry did not say the militants would fly aircraft into oil refineries, but it said in a statement that some detainees had been "sent to other countries to study flying in preparation for using them to carry out terrorist attacks inside the kingdom," according to AP.
Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Mansour al-Turki told AP in a phone call, "They had reached an advance stage of readiness and what remained only was to set the zero hour for their attacks.
"They had the personnel, the money, the arms. Almost all the elements for terror attacks were complete except for setting the zero hour for the attacks."
Al Qaeda claimed previous attack
Those arrested are Saudis and citizens of other Arab and African countries. Many of them are not soldiers and have no training in fighting.
The intelligence source said some of the confiscated weapons had been hidden in the desert for years.
In addition, the operation confiscated 20 million Saudi riyals ($5.3 million), the source said.
A U.S. intelligence official said the arrests show there is "a serious threat" and noted the Saudis have been pursuing terror suspects actively.
"Al Qaeda is intent on attacking in Saudi Arabia," the official said. He added that the arrests provide more information that al Qaeda is still interested in airliner plots. Asked whether the United States played a role in the sweep, the official declined to comment on the specific operation.
However, he said it's no secret the United States and Saudi Arabia work closely on terrorism.
Arabic-language media have been focused on the news all day.
Saudi TV and Al-Arabiya reported that the militants pledged allegiance to the leader of the main cell during a ritual in Mecca, the Saudi city and the holiest city of Islam. A sheikh appearing on Saudi TV referred to the pledge at the holy site as an affront to the religion.
Al-Arabiya said some of those detained were working for airline and oil companies and that the majority of non-Saudi detainees were Yemenis and some Nigerians. Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera reported that the militants wanted to use airplanes to attack refineries.
The announcement comes more than a year after an unsuccessful attack on the world's largest oil processing facility in Abqaiq, in eastern Saudi Arabia. Forty militant suspects were rounded up by Saudi authorities a month later.
Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia claimed responsibility for that attack, and one of al Qaeda's leaders was killed in a shootout three days after the failed strike.
Arabic-language network Al Arabiya said one of the seven terror cells seized was involved in the Abqaiq incident.
A principal goal of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been to bring down the Saudi monarchy, and that has been one of the key motivational factors leading the Saudi authorities to keep tabs on the terror network. Bin Laden, a Saudi, has called for attacks on the kingdom's oil facilities.