Saudi authorities announced on Thursday, October 5, that security forces had successfully dismantled an Islamic State (IS) terrorist cell in connection with a planned attack on the Ministry of Defense headquarters in the capital Riyadh. The plot was initially uncovered in early September, when two Yemeni and two Saudi nationals were arrested. Three raids were subsequently conducted on October 4 in the Al-Rimal, Al-Namar, and Al-Ghanamia districts and suburb of Riyadh, resulting in two militants killed (one by suicide bombing) and five arrested. Weapons and bomb-making materials were seized in the raids.
Saudi security forces have come under increasing pressure due to the growing threat of terrorism. Attacks in Saudi Arabia carried out by IS against security forces and Shi'a Muslims have become increasingly frequent. In June 2017, a planned suicide bomb attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca during Ramadan was thwarted by Saudi authorities.
Individuals in Saudi Arabia are advised to keep a low profile and avoid public places lacking adequate security measures, or locations deemed particularly likely to be targeted in the event of an attack (e.g., official buildings, military zones, etc.). Report all suspicious objects or behavior to authorities.