Saudi authorities have arrested nine American citizens among 33 “terror” suspects rounded up over the past week, the Saudi Gazette newspaper reported Sunday. Four Americans were arrested last Monday and five others over the past four days, the paper reported, citing an unidentified source. Washington, a strong ally of Riyadh, confirmed it was aware of the report but declined to elaborate.

A US State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP: “We are aware of reports alleging that several US citizens were detained in Saudi Arabia. “The Department of State takes its obligation to assist US citizens abroad seriously. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.” The Saudi Gazette said the arrests also included 14 Saudis, three Yemenis, two Syrians, an Indonesian, a Filipino, an Emirati, a Kazakhstan national and a Palestinian. FULL REPORT