Saudi Arabia confirms cooperating with Germany to investigate attacks

Gulf kingdom makes rare comment on the nature of its security operations, saying helping to track militants behind July attacks
Saudi Arabia confirms cooperating with Germany to investigate attacks
Rescuers gather on a road near railtracks in Wuerzburg southern Germany on July 18 after a man attacked train passengers with an axe. (Karl-Josef Hild Enbrand/AFP/Getty Images)
By Reuters
Mon 08 Aug 2016 02:04 PM

Saudi Arabia made a rare comment on the nature of its security operations, confirming it was working with German investigators to track Islamist militants behind bomb and axe attacks in July.

Saudi Arabia maintains it is always ready to work with foreign countries to combat terrorism, but rarely speaks publicly on specific cases.

A spokesman for the Saudi interior ministry, General Mansour al-Turki, said Saudi and German security experts had met and exchanged information over evidence showing that one of the attackers in Germany had been in contact through social media with a member of Islamic State using a Saudi phone number.

Turki said the suspect was in an unspecified "country of conflict," but declined to say whether he was a Saudi citizen.

"The investigation is still ongoing between experts in both countries to try to find the parties to the case," Turki told Reuters in response to a question on a report by news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.

Spiegel said that traces of the chat indicate that both men were not only influenced by but also took instructions from people, as yet unidentified, up until the attacks.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack in Bavaria in which a 17-year-old refugee wounded five people with an axe before police shot him dead.

The group also claimed a bombing in Ansbach, southern Germany, which wounded 15 people.

The 27-year-old Syrian who blew himself up had pledged allegiance to Islamic State on a video found on his mobile phone, investigators have said.

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