Saudi officials gave tip off to West over al-Qaida terror threat
A soldier mans an anti-aircraft machine gun  during a patrol in Yemeni capital of Sana\'a (Reuters)

Officials in Saudi Arabia say they provided valuable information to western nations over the alleged recent al-Qaida terror plots, long before the US picked up the warning.

Saudi Arabia arrested two al-Qaida suspects, a Yemeni and a Chadian, towards the end of July, during the Muslim month of Ramadan. The detainees are thought to have close links with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Yemeni arm of the Islamic militant outfit.

Following an initial interrogation of the duo, Saudi investigators passed on key information to countries that were reportedly in the line of fire, said interior ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki.

The pair are believed to have divulged important information over the plot to target certain countries. However, news of their arrests surfaced only after many of these countries had closed threatened embassies.

The spokesman insisted this is not the first time Saudi Arabia had helped to thwart potential attacks.

According to an interior ministry statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the kingdom authorities "managed at the beginning of the last 10 days of the holy month of Ramadan to arrest two expatriates."

The statement continued, "The two recruited themselves for the service of deviant thought," adding that the investigators "seized items from the suspects which included computer hardware, electronic media and mobile phones."

Saudi Arabia, the main US ally in the Gulf, has also been a target for al-Qaida militants.

It is still unclear whether US intelligence acted on the tip-off from their Saudi counterparts.