Crown prince hails security forces for fighting terror
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, has commended the courage and alertness of security forces in monitoring and dismantling terrorist organizations in the Kingdom.
“Despite the threats of terrorist cells or organizations, Saudi Arabia remains a strong force in countering them,” he said during a visit to the security personnel who were injured during the terror attack on a mosque in Al-Ahsa on Saturday.
“What happened will only strengthen our resolve in fighting terrorist acts by inimical forces.”
Four people were killed and 36 injured when two terrorists targeted the Al-Ridha Mosque in the Mehasin neighborhood during the congregational prayers on Friday. A bigger disaster was averted as security forces stopped the suicide bombers from entering the mosque.
“There were dangerous and horrible things that happened on Friday, creating fear in the heart of everyone but everything was and is under control,” the crown prince said.
“Apart from their courage, the security forces were also well-behaved and were working for a specific goal, that is to maintain peace and security after the horrible terrorist attack on the mosque,” he said.
The Interior Ministry has tightened security at mosques around the country in the wake of the deadly Al-Ahsa attack.
The measures have been taken in coordination with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and includes the posting of more guards and schedules for the opening and closing of mosques for all prayers, according to a report in a local publication on Monday.
Sources were quoted as saying that the mosques across the country have already complied with the directives. The attack last week would have been worse if there had not been security upgrades instituted by the Interior Ministry in the recent past.
Meanwhile, security analysts and experts said that the terrorists had been using explosive belts aimed at causing considerable harm if they had been detonated, according to the report.
Hamad Al-Ansari, a security expert, said the explosions might have destroyed the entire mosque. However, officers deployed at the mosque had not allowed the men to move deep into the building, which showed that security measures have been effective, he said.
He said terrorists are no longer finding it easy to target mosques, this includes smaller ones across the country, where guards have also been posted.
Another security expert, Ibrahim Al-Gunaim, said it was the duty of every person in the Kingdom to protect the nation’s mosques. The government has been protecting mosques and arresting those planning attacks.
If the gates of the mosque in Al-Ahsa had not been closed, there would have been much worse harm caused, perhaps claiming the lives of hundreds of worshipers, he said.