Tue Jun 18, 5:20 PM ET
By JOHN R. BRADLEY, Associated Press Writer
JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia announced its first al-Qaida-related arrests since Sept. 11 and said Tuesday it was holding 11 Saudis, an Iraqi and a Sudanese man behind a plot to shoot down a U.S. military plane taking off from a Saudi air base.
The arrests were made public through the official Saudi Press Agency, which linked the suspects to Osama bin Laden ( news - web sites)'s terror network and said they were planning to use explosives and missiles in other attacks in the kingdom.
The agency provided only sketchy details on when or where the suspects were arrested. But it was the first time since the terrorist attacks on the United States — carried out by 15 Saudis and four other Arabs — that the U.S. ally has announced arrests linked to bin Laden, the Saudi exile whose first cause was the overthrow of this Muslim kingdom.
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