Isis ‘supporters’ arrested for shooting Dane

A Saudi government official has said that thee citizens have been arrested for the "vile attack" on a Danish man in Riyadh last month.

Isis 'supporters' arrested for shooting Dane
The Saudi interior ministry said the shooting was done "in support of" Isis. Photo: Stringer/Scanpix
Three supporters of the Islamic State (Isis) group in Saudi Arabia have been arrested for shooting and wounding a Danish citizen last month, the interior ministry said on Thursday.
"The perpetrators of this vile attack, three Saudis, have been arrested," ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
He said they "perpetrated their crime in support of the terrorist group Daesh", using the Arabic acronym for Isis.
The victim "was injured in the shoulder and chest," Turki said.
"Security was able to find the weapon used, which was a pistol (Glock) and the car used in the attack, as forensic evidence."
Turki added that the suspects "trained for two weeks" before the attack.
Denmark has confirmed that one of its nationals was shot and wounded in the Saudi capital Riyadh on November 22nd and dairy company Arla later said that the shooting victim is an employee of its subsidiary Danya Foods. The company reported that the man is recovering
The pro-Isis media group al-Battar Media Foundation released a video last week purporting to show the shooting of the Danish man, US-based monitoring group SITE said.
The video shows an individual shooting from the backseat window of a vehicle at the driver of a white car on a highway in a desert area.
It identifies the driver of the white car as Danish citizen "Thomas Hopner."
Officials in Saudi Arabia have not identified the victim.
The Dane was driving away from work at a company in Riyadh's Al-Kharj Road area when he was shot, SPA reported.
Authorities have arrested the alleged gunmen, driver and videographer, Turki said.
A week after the incident, someone stabbed and wounded a Canadian while he shopped at a mall in Dhahran on Saudi Arabia's Gulf coast.
Several Westerners were killed in Saudi Arabia in a wave of Al-Qaeda violence between 2003 and 2007.
The latest arrests come as Saudi Arabia — along with several other Arab countries — takes part in US-led air strikes against Isis in Syria.
Canada and Denmark are among Western states taking part in a similar aerial bombing campaign against Isis in Iraq.
In November, Saudi Arabia blamed Isis-linked suspects for the killing of seven Shiites, including children, in Eastern Province.
Isis has declared a "caliphate" in parts of Iraq — bordering Saudi Arabia — as well as in Syria. It has been accused of widespread atrocities including the beheading of Western hostages.
The video claiming that Isis supporters attacked the Dane also carried an audio recording, allegedly of Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying that Saudi rulers will see "no more security or rest".
The kingdom is home to Islam's holiest sites and practises a strict version of Sunni Islam.

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Denmark accuses Iranian trio of spying for Saudi Arabia

Danish security officials have arrested three members of an Iranian separatist group and charged them with spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia, Denmark's intelligence service said on Monday.

Denmark accuses Iranian trio of spying for Saudi Arabia
Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

The three leading members of the ASMLA, Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, had been under investigation for over a year, in a case that prompted Denmark's foreign minister to summon the Saudi Arabian ambassador.

The three “carried out espionage activities on behalf of a Saudi intelligence service from 2012 to 2018,” Finn Borch Andersen, head of the the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET), told a Copenhagen press conference.

PET said it launched an investigation into the trio, who live in Denmark, in November 2018 to determine whether they “had publicly condoned acts of terrorism or committed other criminal offences.”

They were arrested in 2018 and accused of praising five commandos who attacked a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on September 22, spraying the crowd with gunfire and killing 24 people.

Danish authorities said at the time they believed the three were the target of a planned attack on Danish soil, orchestrated by the Iranian regime.

Tehran had formally denied the accusation.

During the investigation “it was uncovered that they have been involved in espionage activities in Denmark on behalf of Saudi Arabia,” a PET statement said.

“Among other things, they have collected information about individuals in Denmark and abroad and passed on this information to a Saudi intelligence service,” it added.

Denmark's foreign minister Jeppe Kofod called the case “deeply serious and completely unacceptable.”

“We are now for the second time in a year and a half in the position where a regional conflict is played out in Denmark via proxies,” Kofod said in a statement on the developments in the case.

Kofod also said he had summoned the Saudi ambassador for talks earlier Monday, and instructed the Danish ambassador in Riyadh to deliver his objections to Saudi authorities.

ASMLA is a separatist group that advocates an Arab state in a southwestern Iranian province. Tehran calls it a terrorist organisation.

Tehran regularly accuses Saudi Arabia, as well as the United States and Israel of supporting separatist groups.

Saudi Arabia, a Sunni monarchy, is Iran's, which is a predominately Shia Muslim nation, main rival in the Middle East.

In the Netherlands, another suspected member of the same organisation was arrested south of The Hague on Monday.

Dutch prosecutors said in a statement that the man, together with others, was “preparing for one or several terrorist attacks in Iran”.

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