Terror cell planning attacks arrested, UAE announces

Members of a possible al-Qaida group arrested Wednesday reportedly were planning militant attacks in both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

DUBAI — Security forces in the United Arab Emirates have arrested a cell of UAE and Saudi Arabian citizens that was planning to carry out militant attacks in both countries and other states, the official news agency WAM said Wednesday.

The group had acquired materials and equipment for use in such actions, WAM said.

"The security authorities in the UAE, in coordination with the related security parties in Saudi Arabia, announced the arrest of an organized cell from the deviant group that was planning to carry out actions against national security of both countries and some sisterly states," WAM said.

The phrase "the deviant group" is often used by authorities in Saudi Arabia to describe al-Qaida members.

The UAE, a major oil exporter, regional business hub and U.S. ally, has detained more than 60 local Islamists this year.

Those detainees, who belong to an Islamist group called al-Islah, have confessed to setting up a secret organization with an armed force whose aim was to take power and establish an Islamic state, local media reported in September.

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