Skip to main content

ISIS gains in Iraq put Saudi forces on highest alert

From Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN
updated 10:32 AM EDT, Fri June 27, 2014
Fle photo: Saudi troops are pictured near the country's border with Yemen in 2009. King Abdullah has ordered that
Fle photo: Saudi troops are pictured near the country's border with Yemen in 2009. King Abdullah has ordered that "all necessary measures" be taken to protect Saudi Arabia against terror threats, the state-run SPA news agency reported Thursday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Militants in Iraq, Syria are seeking to create an Islamic caliphate
  • Authorities are also concerned about threats emanating from Yemen, an official says
  • Saudi security forces are on highest alert, that official adds

(CNN) -- King Abdullah has ordered that "all necessary measures" be taken to protect Saudi Arabia against terror threats, the state-run SPA news agency reported Thursday.

"Anticipating (that) the terrorist organizations or others might carry out actions that might disturb the security of the homeland, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has ordered taking all necessary measures to protect the gains of the homeland and its territories in addition to the security and stability of the Saudi people," SPA said.

Responding to the Iraq crisis
An unlikely alliance
Iraq's leader welcomes Syrian airstrikes

The news agency referenced the crisis in Iraq, where militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are seeking to create an Islamic caliphate that encompasses portions of Iraq and Syria.

According to a Saudi official not authorized to talk to the media, security forces are on highest alert.

"Saudi Arabia shares a long border with Iraq and the government is aware that ISIS is very close to Iraq's border with Jordan, and is also aware ISIS has been very public about its intention to attempt to attack Saudi Arabia," the official said.

The official said, however, that Iraq is not the government's only concern. Authorities are also concerned about intelligence showing ISIS militants starting to work with fighters from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the official said.

In the past week, members of AQAP tried to sneak into Saudi Arabia from Yemen, and were caught, said the official, who did not provide details.

"While Saudi security forces are at the ready and very strong, the threat emanating from Yemen is still very real," said the official.

MAPS: How to understand the Iraq crisis

READ: ISIS gains in Iraq put Saudi forces on highest alert

READ: Iraq crisis: Key developments

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:02 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 5:45 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
The lives of everyone close to Oscar Pistorius and the girl he killed are changed forever, his siblings say.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Gene Simmons reflects on 40 years of KISS, and how even rock royalty needs sound business principles.
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 5:15 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT