Islamic scholar arrested in attack on Saudi prince’s mosque


Saudi Arabia on Monday arrested a prominent Saudi cleric accused of planning a suicide attack on a Saudi prince and his mosque.

The government has said that Abdallah al-Shirley, who has previously called for jihad against Saudi Arabia, was arrested in Riyadh on Saturday for alleged involvement in the deadly suicide attack in June that killed at least 21 people in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The Saudi government has not yet publicly identified the attack as being planned by the cleric, but the attack came a day after a Saudi court convicted him of murder and sentenced him to death.

Saudi Arabia has also imposed a death sentence on a man suspected of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Britain, the official said.

Shirleys arrest comes a day before a rally in London, hosted by the group Britain First, in which members said the attack was motivated by Saudi Arabia’s anti-Islam policies and an ongoing crackdown on women’s rights in the country.

Shirin Al-Nasser, who heads Britain First’s political arm, said the Saudi government had made it clear that it was against any attacks on religious sites, including mosques.

He said the kingdom’s Interior Ministry, which is responsible for policing religious buildings, had “a clear and unequivocal policy” to prevent any attacks against mosques.

Al-Nassar said in a statement that he was in regular contact with the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

The ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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