RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said last night it had not yet arrested those behind the devastating suicide bomb attack on a housing complex in Riyadh on Saturday. "There have been no arrests of anyone (involved in the attack) up to now," Interior Minister Prince Nayef told the official Saudi Press Agency.
A diplomat close to the investigation earlier said a number of people were detained for questioning.
Al Qaeda network is suspected of staging the attack in which at least 18 people died, including five children, and 120 were wounded in Riyadh.
Yesterday, the London-based Saudi weekly Al Majalla quoted an e-mail from a purported Al Qaeda operative identified as Abu Mohammed Al Ablaj as saying: "We struck Al Muhaya compound." Al Muhaya was the name of the residential compound attacked on Saturday.
The magazine began receiving e-mails from Al Ablaj earlier this year.
A US counterterrorism official has said Al Ablaj was believed to be a leading Al Qaeda figure also known as Abu Bakr.
Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, was quoted by newspapers as saying the kingdom was "in a state of war against those terrorists".
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz said on Monday his country would strike with an "iron fist" against militants threatening security and stability.
Saudi Arabia's Islamic affairs minister, the highest religious figure to speak out on the bombing so far, said yesterday there was no religious justification for the attack.
"This is flagrant aggression ... against Islam, the people of Islam, in the land of Islam and during this (holy) month (of Ramadan)," said Saleh bin Abdul Aziz bin Mohammad Al Shaikh.