The ministry described the plot as part of “self-serving schemes managed from abroad”.
Five people, including a woman, were arrested in security operations in Mecca, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news website said, citing interior ministry security spokesman Mansour al-Turki.
Five security force members and six other people were injured, the report said.
In dawn raids on Mecca and the Red Sea city of Jeddah officers arrested suspects before surrounding the bomber’s location close to the Grand Mosque.
“Unfortunately he started shooting towards security personnel once he noticed their presence in the area, which led to an exchange of fire before he blew himself up,” Turki said.
Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called for attacks against the kingdom, a member of the US-led coalition battling the group in Syria and Iraq.
Since July last year police have arrested around 40 people, including Saudis and Pakistanis, for alleged extremist links.
Saudi Arabia’s counter-terrorism capabilities – which for years were led by Prince Mohammed bin Nayef – are well-regarded internationally.
On Wednesday Prince Mohammed was ousted from his posts of crown prince and interior minister, replaced as heir to the throne by King Salman’s son Mohammed bin Salman.
Full article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/24/saudi-security-foils-terror-plot-targeting-mecca-grand-mosque