Saudi Arabia arrests 33 over spying for Iran and Israel

Saudi Arabia arrests 33 over spying for Iran and Israel

Saudi Arabia has arrested 33 spies with links to Iran and Israel in three years, a local report has said.

The spies were 30 Saudis, an Iranian, an Afghan and a Jordanian, and while only one had links with the intelligence services in Israel, the other 32 were part of espionage rings working for Iran, Saudi daily Okaz reported on Sunday.

Investigations revealed that the Jordanian had contacts with an officer in the Israeli intelligence services and that he communicated with him electronically and through emails.

The Jordanian national reportedly received money for his services. He was eventually arrested by the Saudi security and a court sentenced him to nine years in jail to be followed by deportation from the kingdom.

The 32 spies with links to the Iranian intelligence services are still on trial and the public prosecutor has recently presented his evidence against each of the suspects, the daily said.

The charges include the formation of a spy cell, which liaised and collaborated with elements of the Iranian intelligence to provide secret and sensitive information related to the military and that affects the national security, the territorial unity and integrity of Saudi Arabia and its armed forces.

The suspects are also accused of meeting Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei and coordinating with agents from the Iranian intelligence.

Other charges include attempts to carry out acts of sabotage against economic interests and vital installations in Saudi Arabia, to undermine social peace and public order, to spread chaos, to incite sectarian strife, and to carry out hostile acts against the kingdom.

The suspects also face accusations of high treason of their country and king, and attempting to recruit people working in state agencies to commit acts of espionage for the Iranian intelligence service.

According to the charges, most suspects had travelled to Iran and Lebanon where they were trained on espionage techniques including drafting coded messages.

Some of the suspects had hacked into computers to obtain sensitive information related to the internal and external security and the national economy of Saudi Arabia.

Others charges included supporting riots and demonstrations in Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia, possessing weapons, forging documents and accepting bribes.