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Saudi Arabia seeks 19 terror suspects


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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) -- The Saudi government said Wednesday it is looking for 19 suspects, mostly Saudis, who were planning to carry out a terrorist attack.

A dispatch from the official Saudi Press Agency urged friends and relatives of the suspects to contact the government with information and warned against sheltering any of them.

Specifics of the planned terror attack were not described, but an Interior Ministry statement said the suspects were being sought after authorities had uncovered a cache of weapons and explosives in Riyadh.

The dispatch listed 19 names, 17 of them Saudis. The other two were an Iraqi with Kuwaiti and Canadian citizenships and a Yemeni.

Saudi Arabia was birthplace of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and 15 of the 19 hijackers from the September 11 attacks were Saudis.

Anti-American and pro-bin Laden sentiment has been strong in some parts of the country.

Bin Laden's anger with the United States stems from a decision by Saudi Arabia -- home to Islam's holiest sites -- to allow U.S. troops to be stationed there during the Persian Gulf War.

After the Gulf War, the U.S. military presence became permanent. During the U.S. war in Iraq, the Saudis refused to allow U.S.-led coalition forces to attack Iraq with aircraft based in their nation.

In a major policy shift, Washington announced last week that its U.S. Combined Air Operations Center would be moved from Saudi Arabia to nearby Qatar.


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