By Rania El Gamal
DUBAI | Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:40pm EST
(Reuters) - Security forces in the United Arab Emirates have arrested a cell of UAE and Saudi Arabian citizens which was planning to carry out militant attacks in both countries and other states, the official news agency WAM said on Wednesday.
The U.S.-allied UAE, a federation of seven emirates and a major oil exporter that has supported Western counter-terrorism efforts in the region, has been spared any attack by al Qaeda and other insurgency groups.
But some of its emirates have seen a rise in Islamist sentiment in recent years, and Dubai, a business and tourism hub and cosmopolitan city that attracts many Westerners, could make an attractive target for Islamist militants, analysts say.
Those arrested had acquired materials and equipment for use in what WAM called terrorist operations.