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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 09:06 GMT
Saudi terror suspect surrenders
Saudi Arabia
Alert said to be based on new information
One of Saudi Arabia's most wanted militant suspects has surrendered to police, Saudi officials have said.

Mansour bin Mohammad Ahmad Faqih gave himself up on Tuesday, according to an interior ministry statement carried by state media.

He was 14th on a wanted list of 26 men with suspected al-Qaeda links.

The arrest came a day after a small bomb exploded in Riyadh, in an apparent assassination attempt on a member of the Saudi security forces.

In early December, Saudi Arabia named 26 suspects it suspected of involvement in terror attacks within the country.

It offered rewards of up to $1.9 million to anyone who helped to bring about their arrests or to thwart an attack.

Pictures and biographical details of the suspects were printed in Saudi newspapers.

Reports said Faqih, 22, had gone into hiding soon after his younger brother was arrested in connection with suicide attacks in May.

Better treatment

Riyadh has vowed to strike with an "iron fist" against the militants, following a series of suicide bombings.

But the authorities have said those who surrender can expect better treatment in court.

"Initiatives that indicate a serious desire to return to the path of righteousness will be appreciated," the official Saudi Press Agency quoted an unidentified Interior Ministry official as saying.

Faqih has already been visited by his family in custody.

More than 50 people - including the bombers and many foreigners - were killed in two attacks against residential compounds in Riyadh in May and November.

Security forces killed one of the 26 wanted suspects in a gun-battle earlier this month.

In June, a leading suspect in the May suicide attacks, Ali Abdul Rahman al-Ghamdi, turned himself in.

Security officer attack

Faqih's arrest came a day after a small bomb exploded in Riyadh, in an apparent failed assassination attempt on a member of the Saudi security forces.

A militant group called the al-Haramain (The Two Mosques) Brigades has claimed responsibility for the attack, AFP news agency reported on Wednesday.

In a statement posted on several websites, the group warned "the officer and those like him against pursuing their war against Islamists".

Observers say militants may be responding to the government's campaign against them by targeting security officials rather than foreign workers.


SEE ALSO:
Riyadh bomb targets officer's car
30 Dec 03  |  Middle East
Police kill Saudi 'most wanted'
08 Dec 03  |  Middle East
Saudi hunt for 26 terror suspects
07 Dec 03  |  Middle East
Saudi Arabia holds bomb suspect
03 Dec 03  |  Middle East
Saudi Arabia names Riyadh bombers
01 Dec 03  |  Middle East
Saudi suspects 'linked to al-Qaeda'
22 Jul 03  |  Middle East



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