Source AP ©

"Carriers of al-Qaida ideology" arrested in Saudi Arabia trained to use aircrafts

Some of the militants arrested in Saudi terror sweep are "carriers of al-Qaida ideology" in the kingdom and trained to use civilian planes for suicide missions, interior ministry spokesman said Saturday.

"They were trained on civilian aircrafts, to use the aircraft as a tool to carry out suicide operations," Mansour al-Turkri told The Associated Press on the phone from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. "The last group (we) rounded up are carriers of al-Qaida ideology, working on achieving al-Qaida goals, which is to take over the society."

The comments mark a rare mention of al-Qaida by Saudi officials, who customarily refer to the organization as a "deviant group."