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SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT 
TO SAUDI-US RELATIONS INFORMATION SERVICE NEWSLETTER

AL QAEDA PLOT FOILED BY SAUDI SECURITY FORCES

 

SAUDIS SEEK 19 SUSPECTED OF TERRORIST PLOT 
"After a shootout in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, and the discovery of a major arms cache there, Saudi authorities are pursuing 19 Islamic militants with ties to Al Qaeda who now appear to have been planning a substantial terrorist attack, Saudi and American officials said [May 9]. In an indication of how seriously the threat is being taken in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi government has been unusually open in discussing it, even making public the names and photographs of the wanted men in the country's newspapers and television broadcasts this week. With the militants still at large three days after a raid in Riyadh, Saudi and American officials said they could not or would not say what they thought the target of a planned attack might have been. But they said they regarded the group as having been planning a significant operation whose most likely objective would have been an American target in the kingdom..." Complete report... 

SAUDI ARABIA FOILS TERRORIST PLOT 
"Saudi security forces today foiled planned acts of terrorism and seized large quantities of weapons and explosives found in vehicles and a house in Riyadh… … Security forces are searching for 19 individuals, including a man holding Canadian and Kuwaiti passports and a Yemeni…" Complete report…

SAUDI POLICE HUNT GUNMEN 
"Police in Saudi Arabia are hunting for a group of 19 suspected militants believed to be hiding in the capital Riyadh… …The group were involved in a shoot-out with security forces late on [May 6] evening which erupted as police stormed the 'terrorists' lair…" Complete report… 

MANHUNT LAUNCHED AFTER ARMS HAUL 
"Saudi police have launched a manhunt for 19 suspected militants after seizing a huge arms cache in the capital… …They were believed to be hiding in the capital after a shoot-out with security forces late on [May 6]…" Complete report… 

AL-QAEDA PLOT FOILED 
"A group of Arab extremists who had been planning terrorist attacks in the Kingdom is being hunted down in a densely populated district of the capital following a shootout with security forces raiding its hideout… … …The ministry said it was seeking '19 terrorists, 17 of them Saudis,' but added that it expected to add other names to the wanted list later…" Complete report…

SAUDI OFFICIAL: ATTACKS TARGETED ROYALS 
"Suspected terrorists who had been planning attacks in Saudi Arabia targeted the royal family as well as American and British interests, and received orders directly from Osama bin Laden, a senior security official said [May 8]… …The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the prime targets were the defense minister, Prince Sultan, and his brother, the interior minister, Prince Nayef…" Complete report…

SR300, 000 OFFERED FOR CAPTURE OF FUGITIVES 
"Interior Minister Prince Naif announced [May 8] a reward of up to SR300, 000 [~$80,000] for information leading to the capture of 19 fugitive Al-Qaeda members and SR50, 000 [~$13,000] for those who tipped security personnel off about them… …The prince's statement came a day after the Interior Ministry announced that security forces were hunting for the terrorists, who included a Kuwaiti-Canadian of Iraqi origin and a Yemeni…" Complete report…

CHECKPOINTS SET UP NEAR RIYADH TO TRACK DOWN TERROR SUSPECTS 
"At least three of the 19 wanted Al-Qaeda suspects who escaped on Tuesday after a shootout with police fled in a Mercedes which was parked in front of a car maintenance workshop on the Riyadh-Dammam Expressway, Al-Watan reported [May 9]. The terror suspects took the car at gunpoint..." Complete report...

FAMILIES DENOUNCE THEIR SONS 
"The families of some of the suspected members of the terrorist cell denounced the way chosen by their sons saying they reject all forms of terrorism and violence and pledged full cooperation with the authorities to bring the plotters to justice…" Complete report…

'TERRORISM IS ALIEN TO ISLAM' 
"The Shariah considers terrorism one of the most heinous crimes, says Dr. Abdullah Al-Turki, secretary-general of the Makkah-based Muslim World League. "Islam has nothing to do with terrorism and the two do not meet at any point," he said." Complete report...

SAUDI ARABIA CALLS FOR MORE COOPERATION TO FIGHT TERRORISM 
"Saudi Arabia's Interior Minister, Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz, called on the international community to increase cooperation and coordination to fight global terrorism. Global terrorism networks, such as Al-Qaeda, have diffuse operations that weave through many countries. Their tactics and methods of operation have the ability to elude conventional law enforcement efforts. And, as the strategies of terrorist groups continue to shift, new and more sophisticated efforts must be put in place to combat them. 'We have always warned of the dangers of terrorism and its impact on the security and safety of the people. And we have repeatedly called for more cooperation among countries to combat this phenomenon, which does not have a religion or a nationality or a time or a place.' Saudi Arabia was a principal architect of the 1998 agreement Among Arab countries to establish regional counter-terrorism cooperation. It has also been a leader in joint counter-terrorism agreements established through the United Nations and through the G-8 countries. Since September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia has detained more than 300 suspects and sent 90 to trial. In addition, arrests of a number of major Al-Qaeda leaders were accomplished as a result of Saudi cooperation. This week, Saudi Arabia foiled the plans of a group of terrorists. Saudi law-enforcement officials captured over 800 pounds of high-explosives, 55 hand-grenades, 2,545 bullets of different calibers, as well as cash and various disguises. An intensive manhunt is currently underway to apprehend 19 individuals involved in this plot. According to Prince Naif, those who terrorize and kill innocent people in the name of Islam are the ones who are farthest from the practice of Islam..." Source: Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia [May 8, 2003]

SAUDI'S COMPLEX DILEMMA 
The discovery of an al-Qa'ida cell in Riyadh may mitigate U.S. media campaigns against the kingdom, but it points to the growing dilemma facing the Saudi ruling family in dealing with its Islamist current. The discovery of a terrorist cell in Riyadh should undermine some aspects of the U.S. media campaign against Saudi Arabia for harboring or aiding terrorists, argues one Saudi daily. But another Arab paper sees the cell as proof of deep divisions within Saudi society, and as a harbinger of the problems that the Saudi ruling family will soon have to confront..." Source: Mideast Mirror [May 9, 2003]


~~GulfWire Link~~


[The following background material is available through the GulfWire news service.  For information on accessing "GulfWire Links" CLICK HERE ]

US WARNS OF TERROR PLANS, BUT KINGDOM HAS NO INFORMATION - GWD May 5, 2003 
GERMAN ARRESTED IN RIYADH FOR ALLEGED AL-QAEDA LINK - GWD Apr. 7, 2003  AMERICAN CIVILIAN SHOT IN JUBAIL - GWD May 5, 2003 
PRO-QAEDA OIL WORKERS A SABOTAGE RISK FOR SAUDIS - GWD Feb. 10, 2003  GERMAN ARRESTED IN RIYADH FOR ALLEGED AL-QAEDA LINK - GWD Apr. 7, 2003  VICTIM OF RIYADH EXPLOSION IDENTIFIED AS TERRORIST - GWD Mar. 31, 2003  
90 WITH AL-QAEDA LINKS JAILED, SAYS PRINCE MOHAMMED - GWD Feb. 10, 2003 


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