United Arab Emirates 'arrests members of terror cell'

  • Published
Map showing UAE and Saudi Arabia

The United Arab Emirates says it has arrested members of what it called a terror cell which was planning attacks.

According to an official statement carried on the state news agency WAM, the arrests were made in conjunction with Saudi Arabia.

The cell had obtained "materials and equipments with the aim of executing terrorist operations", WAM said.

Those detained were reportedly both UAE and Saudi nationals and were members of what was termed a "deviant group".

The phrase "deviant group" is often used by authorities in Saudi Arabia to describe al-Qaeda members.

According to the statement, the cell was planning actions against targets in both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The United Arab Emirates is a major oil exporter and a key Western ally in the region.

It detained more than 60 people this year whom it accuses of trying to overthrow the authorities and establish an Islamic state.

WAM said at the time that those detained were suspected of having links with foreign organisations.

An Islamist group in the UAE, al-Islah, later denied reports that it had established an armed wing. It said it was committed to peaceful reform.