March 7 (UPI) -- Suspected Islamic State members planned an attack on Saudi royal family members travelling in Asia, a Malaysian police chief said Tuesday.
Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said that militants targeted Saudi Arabia's King Salman and his entourage when they visited Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 26. The Saudi group of about 1,500 people began its monthlong tour of Asia with a visit to Malaysia.
Police arrested seven suspects, Bakar said, adding that two separate teams were involved in attack plans. One consisted of four Yemeni citizens, another of an Indonesian and a Malaysian, with one other suspected attacker, from an unidentified East Asian country, working on his own.
"The suspects were involved in producing false documents and distributing drugs. They were planning to attack Arab royalty when they visited Kuala Lumpur. Thank God we got them in the nick of time," Bakar said.
Kuala Lumpur was the first stop on the royal visit. The king moved to Indonesia and will later go to China and Japan. The tour is meant to strengthen ties with a region Saudi Arabia regards as a valuable economic partner and as a hedge against unpredictable U.S.-Saudi relations, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.