Egypt arrests suspect over threats to American schools

The minaret's of mosques are pictured in Cairo on Nov 8, 2014. Egypt on Saturday announced the arrest of a US-Egyptian citizen accused of having posted on Islamic militant websites a threat to attack American and other international schools in the re
The minaret's of mosques are pictured in Cairo on Nov 8, 2014. Egypt on Saturday announced the arrest of a US-Egyptian citizen accused of having posted on Islamic militant websites a threat to attack American and other international schools in the region. -- PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt on Saturday announced the arrest of a US-Egyptian citizen accused of having posted on Islamic militant websites a threat to attack American and other international schools in the region.

At the end of October, US embassies in the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the mission in Egypt, called for vigilance over a threat to American schools there.

Egypt's interior ministry, in a statement on its official Facebook page, said Alsayyed Abu Saree, 60, was behind the threats and had been arrested, although it did not say when.

The suspect "posted a call through jihadist websites for attacks targeting government and foreign interests... including against foreign teachers at American and international schools in the country", it said.

Interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif told AFP the suspect was arrested in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, and that he holds both US and Egyptian citizenship.

He also holds a certificate to teach at American schools around the world and has lived in the United States for 27 years.

In October, the American embassy in Riyadh posted a warning saying that an anonymous militant post specifically mentioned schools in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Maadi, an upmarket Cairo suburb.

A similar message issued by the embassy in Cairo said the mission was "working with local schools identified with the United States or that have high concentrations of American teachers or students to review and enhance their security posture".

It also said "Americans residing in or visiting Egypt should remain vigilant regarding their personal security and alert to local security developments".

However, the warnings issued at the end of October also stressed that no specific threat had been identified.