RIYADH - Saudi Arabian security forces arrested two foreign citizens in a raid on an illegal explosives factory at a Riyadh home, the interior ministry said on Saturday, according to state news agency SPA.

One of those arrested was a Syrian man, Yaser Mohammed Al Barrazi, who the interior ministry said was preparing to carry out attacks. The other was a Filipino woman accused of helping him. The ministry did not provide details about the suspects’ affiliation, but said they were part of a “deviant group”.

Two explosive belts and bomb-making equipment were found in the raid, in the al-Fayhaa district of Riyadh. Another location, thought to be a staging post for suicide bombers in the al-Jazirah district, was also raided, but nothing was found there. The raids were the second major security operation in the capital in the past month. Security forces captured two militants and seized weapons and a explosive vest in raids on September 15.

Saudi Arabia has grappled with an uptick in radical Sunni militancy linked to Islamic State this year, and has arrested hundreds of alleged sympathisers. In neighbouring Bahrain, whose Sunni ruling family is close to Saudi Arabia, the authorities this week discovered a large bomb-making factory and arrested suspects they said were linked to Shi’ite power Iran. Iran denied any involvement.