Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, a spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry, told London's pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that al-Qaida was pushing vulnerable youths to work in the funeral industry so they become desensitized to corpses.
"We are all aware that the deviant group is seeking to exploit any opportunity," he said. "If it was capable of recruiting a 3-year old child it would not hesitate about doing so."
He said in the interview that regional leaders needed to be wary of the recruiting methods used by al-Qaida, especially for younger children.
"So long as we continue to monitor these violations and are aware that there are a number of Saudi Arabians who continue to be deceived by the deviant group and its ideology," he said. "This is enough to reveal that we are not doing enough as a society to ensure that our children are immune to this ideology."
Interpol said it published the names of 47 individuals wanted for alleged terrorism offenses under a so-called Red Notice at the request of the Saudi government.
The identities of the suspects were already made public by the Saudi Interior Ministry and include the names of al-Qaida suspects thought to be operating outside of Saudi Arabia.