Saudi interior ministry announces names of 23 saboteurs, asking them to surrender

Ministry spokesman expresses insistence to withstand any enemy foreign agendas

Trial of takfir cell that planned overthrowing the regime starts

Qatif elders express support for King Abdullah

The Spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, Major General Mansour Al-Turki held a press conference this week, highlighting the arrest warrant issued by the Ministry of Interior for 23 rioters accused of staging outrageous gatherings in an Eastern Region province.

He said that the wanted persons were requested to stand before justice through legal and routine procedure but they remain fugitive, forcing the issuance of the arrest warrant for the security authorities to pursue them at home and abroad.

'The names of wanted persons were identified in light of the ongoing investigations that have proven their relationship to the random shooting which resulted in killing four citizens and injuring more than 23 citizens and security men,' Major General Al-Turki said.

'Investigations showed that they obstructed traffic movement, destructed public and private properties, possessed illegal firearms, opened fire on citizens and security men, forced citizens to cover them up, and dragged them to absurdity of clashes with security forces,' Major General Al-Turki added, noting that some of the wanted persons have bad conduct criminal personal history. He also urged citizens who happen to monitor the wanted persons to call 990 where rewards will be awaiting them.

Responding to a question on developing a security strategy or plan for the Ministry of Interior as a result of these events, the Spokesman said 'We have no specific plan, but certainly we have a plan that deals with such events.'

Major General Al-Turki said that the wanted persons do not represent the innocent loyal citizens of their region and instead work to implement foreign agenda.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia started the trial of 14 suspected Islamic militants accused of killing four French nationals in the conservative kingdom in 2007, state media said on Wednesday.

The trial is being held in a special criminal court in the Saudi capital Riyadh that was set up as part of the kingdom's campaign against militants linked to al-Qaeda who killed dozens of people between 2003 and 2006.

The official Saudi Press Agency said in a report on the trial, which was not open to media, that the defendants were also accused of being part of an al Qaeda cell.

Saudi Arabia's prosecutor general said four of the men, led by Walid al-Radadi, had carried out the gun attack on a group of nine French nationals who were touring the desert in the west of the country near the Muslim holy city of Medina.

Radadi was killed in a shootout with security forces shortly after the attack, Saudi media reported at the time.

The 14 defendants were also accused of firing at security personnel, hijacking cars, attempting to rob automatic teller machines, planning terrorist attacks and terrorist financing.

SPA did not report whether the defendants denied the charges.

A representative of the French embassy, a member of the government-affiliated Human Rights Commission and two relatives of the defendants attended the session.

In August, the Interior Ministry said it had imprisoned more than 5,000 people in its campaign against Islamic militants since the attacks began in 2003.

On the other hand, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz met with a number of Saudi governors, ministers, and senior civilian and military officials at the Al-Yamamah Royal Palace.

This meeting was also attended by a number of scholars and dignitaries from Qatif in the Eastern Province. Verses of the holy Quran were read out at the beginning of the meeting, along with an explanation of their meeting, following which guests read statements welcoming King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz back to the country, and offering thanks for his good health.

Qatif elder, Sheikh Mansour al-Suleiman, read the following statement, addressing Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz:

"In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful, peace and God's blessings be with you. We thank God for your safety and your return to this dear homeland. You have been in the hearts of your people since you left the homeland during this long voyage, and the [Saudi] people have prayed in the Grand Mosque for your recovery and good health."

He added "we thank God for granting the prayers of the [Saudi] citizens and your safe return to your homeland and your good health which will allow you to accomplish the tasks that have been set before you."

Sheikh Mansour al-Suleiman also told the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz "Since the founding of the Kingdom by King Abdulaziz – may he rest in peace – his major concern, and his noble sons who followed after him, have primarily been concerned with the welfare of their citizens and the achievement of their desires and aspirations. We do not want anything other than your presence, which protects the Kingdom's security and safety. You are the safety valve of this nation, and we ask God to help you to complete the path that was started by founder King Abdulaziz to realize the wishes and aspirations of your people. Peace and the blessings of God be with you!"

At the same meeting Sheikh Nasser Bin Turki Bin Daraan, of the Qatifi Daraan family, also publicly swore allegiance to the Saudi monarch, calling on God protect the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz.

He said "we pray to God to guide your steps and aid you to serve the Kingdom and its people. We pray to God to protect our homeland and its security and stability under your wise rule" adding "May God protect our homeland from all evils."

Sheikh Nasser Bin Turki Bin Daraan also publicly disowned a member of the Daraan family, Muhammad Bin Maeed Bin Badah Al-Dossari, who has been described as a Saudi dissident living abroad.

He told the King "we hereby announce that the deviant Muhammad Bin Maeed Bin Badah Bin Saad Bin Muhammad Bin Daraan Bin Saad al-Waadani al-Dosari is no longer a member of the Daraan family" adding that "the Daraan family has sacrificed lives in the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Abdulaziz. Our family participated in a number of battles along with King Abdulaziz and this renegade [al-Dosari] who has deviated from the right path is no longer a member of our family."

Qatif is a historic, coastal oasis region located on the western shore of the Arabian Gulf in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and is known to host the largest Shiite community in predominately-Sunni Saudi Arabia.