December 11, 2014 / 1:53 PM / in 3 years

Saudi Arabia links Dane's shooting to Islamic State, arrests three

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has arrested three suspects in connection with the shooting of a Danish man in Riyadh last month, and investigations show it was carried out on behalf of Islamic State, an interior ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

The spokesman, Major General Mansour Turki, said security forces recovered the handgun and a vehicle used in the Nov. 22 attack, which the victim survived.

“The confessions and the results of the initial investigations showed that they carried out the crime in support and sympathy with Islamic State,” he said.

The attackers had trained for the assault, he said. “The training was simple... They chose a desert area ... and wanted to make sure that the person had enough courage to use the gun.”

The three suspects include two brothers, who met the third person over social media, the ministry said.

A group of supporters of Islamic State have released a video said to show its members carrying out the shooting. The video, filmed from inside a vehicle driving along a street with Riyadh neighborhood signposts, shows a handgun being fired through an open window at a white car traveling in the same direction.

Islamic State last month urged supporters in Saudi Arabia, which is participating in air strikes against the group in Syria, to attack Shi‘ite Muslims, government officials and Westerners. Denmark is among the countries contributing planes as part of coalition action against Islamic State in Iraq.

The interior ministry told Reuters in November it had identified at least 2,000 Saudis who had gone to fight in Syria and Iraq. Some had died, while around 600 had returned to the kingdom and were in detention.

Reporting by Reem Shamseddine, Writing by William Maclean, Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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