An official Source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Sunday denied as "completely untrue" news broadcast by some media outlets regarding Syria's recruitment of a person to carry out a bombing during the religious rituals of the last pilgrimage season.
The source added that the Syrian Arab Republic refuted allegations of recruiting a person to carry out a bombing during the religious rituals of the last pilgrimage season, assassinate political and religious figures in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or bomb gas stations in Jeddah.
It stressed Syria's keenness on the safety and security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the sanctities there, adding that the person who circulated such false news and claimed that he was chosen to carry out a bombing in Mecca on the Day of Arafah has never been a Syrian Diplomat, rather he was an ex-civil worker at the Consulate General of the Syrian Arab Republic in Jeddah.
The source noted that this person and those who stand behind him attempt to undermine Syria's steadfastness in the face of the conspiracy hatched against it through fabricating such statements, as they aim to harm the fraternal relations between the Syrian and the Saudi peoples.
A defected diplomat in Saudi Arabia had said that Syria had planned to explode a bomb during the Haj (pilgrimage) season last year.
Imad Al Haraki, a Syrian officer who worked for the Syrian consulate in the Red Sea resort of Jeddah, told the London-based Al Hayat daily that he had been selected by the Syrian government to carry out the act of terrorism on the ninth day of Dhul Hijja when around three million people gathered at the Arafat Mount, the peak of the pilgrimage rituals.
The former deputy General Consul, Shawqi Shamat, conveyed the mission orders to him, he said.
“I was vacationing in Thailand with my family when I received a phone call from the deputy Consul telling men that I was to carry out an operation in the sacred city of Makkah, but without specifying the location” he told the daily. “I was told that I would return home to Syria following the bombing and lead a lavish life.”
However, Al Haraki chose on October 23 to alert the Saudi authorities about the plot and three diplomats in the consulate were deported two days later, according to the article published by Al Hayat on Saturday. Haj started on October 24 and the Arafat Mount gathering was on October 25.
The former officer said that he also told the Saudis about the existence of a Hezbullah cell in Jeddah and about its network of more than 20 people who were in direct contact with Shamat and the consulate.
Al Haraki said that he received information from Syria on the day the three diplomats were deported that he had been sentenced to death, prompting him to ask the Saudi authorities for protection.