Top Qaeda suspect `surrenders` to Saudi authorities

Khaled Hazal al-Qahtani is one of 47 Saudis on an Interpol wanted list.

Riyadh: An alleged al Qaeda member, one of 47 on an Interpol wanted list, has turned himself in to Saudi authorities, the kingdom`s Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.

Khaled Hazal al-Qahtani had "contacted (Saudi) security services asking them to help him return home and surrender," ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki said in comments carried by state-run news agency SPA.

"His return was arranged and he was reunited with his family upon his arrival," the spokesman said in the statement which gave no details on Qahtani`s whereabouts before he surrendered.

"He will be dealt with according to the procedures followed in similar cases," Turki said without elaborating.

International police agency Interpol issued a worldwide alert in January for 47 Saudis with suspected links to al Qaeda wanted on terrorism charges.

The Saudi suspects posed "a potentially serious public threat at home and abroad due to their suspected involvement with al Qaeda," Interpol said at the time, citing the Saudi Interior Ministry.

Saudi authorities are on the hunt for dozens of the ultra-conservative kingdom`s citizens who have joined Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen.

Saudi and Yemeni al Qaeda branches merged in January 2009 to form AQAP, posing a serious threat to US interests across the region.

Bureau Report

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