Riyadh, Oct.21 :Saudi Arabian authorities have indicted 991 suspected militants on charges that they participated in terrorist attacks carried out in the kingdom over the last five years.
News agency reports quoted the country's Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, as saying on Tuesday that over the past few years, the kingdom has been "the target of an organized terrorist campaign linked to networks of strife and sedition overseas."
The Saudi Press Agency further quoted Prince Nayef as saying: "This campaign targeted the way of life, economy and principles of Saudi society and sought to create chaos,'' he added. ''It has direct links to a deviant group that adopts the (mind-set) of al-Qaida.''
The legal proceedings mark a significant step in Saudi Arabia's fight against terror. Authorities had been reluctant to hold trials for terrorism charges that could result in death sentences until they had shown the public that every effort had been made to give the men a chance to repent.
These militants have been responsible for more than 30 attacks in the kingdom since May 2003, Nayef claimed, adding that so far 164 people, including 74 security officials, had been killed and 657 security officials and 439 civilians wounded.
Another 160 attacks were foiled.
Nayef's statement did not specify whether all the suspects were in custody or their nationalities.