Jordian Albawaba news site is reporting: "Syria had planned to explode a bomb during the Haj (pilgrimage) season last year, a former military officer has said. Imad Al Haraki, a Syrian officer who worked for the Syrian consulate in the Red Sea resort of Jeddah, told the London-based Al Hayat daily that he had been selected by the Syrian government to carry out the act of terrorism on the ninth day of Dhul Hijja when around three million people gathered at the Arafat Mount, the peak of the pilgrimage rituals. The former deputy General Consul, Shawqi Shamat, conveyed the mission orders to him, he said.

The newspaper adds, “I was vacationing in Thailand with my family when I received a phone call from the deputy Consul telling men that I was to carry out an operation in the sacred city of Makkah, but without specifying the location” he told the daily. “I was told that I would return home to Syria following the bombing and lead a lavish life.” However, Al Haraki chose on October 23 to alert the Saudi authorities about the plot and three diplomats in the consulate were deported two days later, according to the article published by Al Hayat on Saturday. Haj started on October 24 and the Arafat Mount gathering was on October 25.