DUBAI (AFX-ASIA) – Islamist militants are planning further attacks in Saudi Arabia targeting the kingdom’s oil-rich eastern province, the Washington-based Saudi Institute Press (SIP) reported, quoting a Saudi security source.

“Armed extremists are planning bombings and attacks in the eastern province, targeting Westerners, Shiite communities and economic facilities,” said SIP, a non-profit organization that runs aggressive campaigns to promote the rule of law, transparency and civil society in the kingdom.

In an email to Agence France Presse, the “independent” institute said a Saudi citizen revealed that security authorities arrested four militants nearly two months ago after they rented an apartment in Nasiryah, in the eastern province, where they were preparing attacks.

The landlord became suspicious and notified police, the citizen said.

Saudi Arabia has launched a massive crackdown on suspected Islamist militants following the May 12 and Nov 8 attacks on residential compounds that left dozens dead.

Shootouts have become frequent leaving both security men and militants dead or wounded.

Hundreds of suspected Islamist militants have been detained and authorities reported seizing several large arms caches across the vast kingdom in recent months.

The al-Qaeda terrorist network headed by Osma bin Laden has claimed responsibility for the attacks on the compounds.