RIYADH, April 20 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has put security forces on alert for a possible militant attack on a shopping mall or energy installation, Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour Turki said on Monday.
“There was information about a possible act targeting a mall or Aramco installations. We passed this information to the security forces to be on alert,” he told Reuters.
Turki said he had no further information about the threat. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter and key strategic ally of the United States, has been a target of jihadist militant groups for years, including al Qaeda and Islamic State.
Riyadh has been carrying out air strikes against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen since March 26 in a conflict in which nine members of its security forces have been killed by cross-border fire.
This month Saudi police announced they had detained a Saudi citizen suspected of shooting dead two police officers and injuring two others in two separate attacks in Riyadh.
“Saudi Arabia is targeted by terrorism. Usually in such situations (conflicts), there are attempts by terrorist groups to take advantage and carry out attacks,” said Turki.