Saudi raids net expat teachers

A Briton and an American who took diving lessons in the Red Sea are under arrest in Saudi Arabia – apparently as part of a crackdown on terrorism.

The detention of the two men, who both teach in Saudi Arabia, is thought to have been prompted by fears of an attack on shipping by Islamic militants, though unofficial Saudi sources yesterday dismissed the case as ridiculous. The Briton, 24-year-old David Heaton, is a convert to Islam who has adopted an Arabic first name, Da’ud. He lives with his parents in Jeddah where his father works for the Saudi airline. Mr Heaton and the American, Abdullatif Ibrahim Bilal, have been held for more than a week, though news of their arrests became public only last Saturday. They are said to have attracted attention by diving during the fasting month of Ramadan. Strict Muslims do not swim during daylight hours in Ramadan because of the risk of swallowing water which would break their fast. Full Story

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