Saudi authorities have arrested nine American citizens in a recent round-up of suspected terrorists, the Saudi Gazette newspaper reported on Sunday.
Four Americans were arrested last Monday and five others over the past four days, citing an unidentified source.
According to Yahoo! News, the Obama Administration confirmed it was aware of the report but declined to elaborate.
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“We are aware of reports alleging that several US citizens were detained in Saudi Arabia. The Department of State takes its obligation to assist US citizens abroad seriously. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment,” A State Department official speaking on condition of anonymity said.
Among the nine Americans, 33 other suspects are also being held by the Saudi government in connection with terrorist activities.
Government officals would not say if any of the “terror suspects” were linked to the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which has claimed several deadly attacks against security forces and Shiites in the kingdom in recent months. However, officials did say that the Americans were arrested in “pre-emptive” raids across the kingdom and they are still searching for nine other suspects in relation to an August suicide bombing of a mosque.