Terrorism – Saudi Arabia

This page provides a snapshot of terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia and related developments. This timeline will be continuously reviewed and updated.

January 18, 2005: The Saudi Ministry of Interior announced that they were able to trace the
explosive to a neighborhood in Riyadh.

January 10, 2005: The Ministry of Interior identified three of the four militants killed yesterday. They were: Muhammad Al-Farraj, Mishaal Obaid Abdullah Al-Hasiri, and Omar Abdullah Al-Raid Al-Qahtani.

January 9, 2005: Saudi forces killed 4 gunmen in a gun battle in Al-Zulfi, northwest of Riyadh. Three Saudi Security forces were injured. The police seized arms caches.

January 2, 2005: The Ministry of Interior names the attackers of the December 29 attack. Three participated in the attack on the Interior Ministry: Ismael Ali Mohammad Al-Khuzaim, Abdullah Saud Al-Subaiei, on the Kingdom’s most wanted and was the suicide bomber in the attack, Mohammad Mohsen Al-Osaimi. Two more people were named for their involvement in the attack on the recruitment center: Dakheel Abdul Aziz Dakheel Mohammad Al-Obeid, and Nasser Ali Saad Al-Motairi

December 31, 2004: Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arabian Peninsula posted a statement on a website claiming responsibility and saying that their target was the Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, and his son and Deputy, Prince Ahmad bin Nayef.

December 29, 2004: Saudi security forces killed a militant in a gun battle in Riyadh after he threw a hand grenade at Saudi officers while patrolling a residential district in Riyadh. Police later surrounded the car and killed the man in the shootout.

Another militant was killed in Jeddah

Militants launched coordinated car bombings against the Ministry of Interior and a security forces recruitment center in Riyadh. The bomb next to the Interior Ministry was injured several people including five Saudi security officers and some bystanders. The security forces were able to stop the suicide bombing before detonating killing seven militants.

December 28, 2004: Saudi security forced engaged in a gun battle with suspected militants in AlDeera district or Riyadh. Three gunmen were killed and one was injured in the fight.

December 7, 2004: Saudi authorities identified the people who carried the attack against the US Consulate: Fayez ibn Awwad Al-Jeheni, Eid ibn Dakhilallah Al-Jeheni and Hassan ibn Hamed AlHazmi, none was on the 26 most-wanted list.

December 6, 2004: The U.S. Consulate in Jeddah was attacked. Five people were killed including the three attackers, and two non-US citizens who worked in the consulate. Two of the gunmen were injured and taken to the hospital (one would later die in the hospital). Four Saudi security officers were killed and several were wounded. Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility with a statement that was posted on website. The statement said that the attack was revenge for the US attack on Fallujah last month.

December 4, 2004: Saudi security forces arrested a man in the city of Taif, Western Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Interior spokesman said that the detained man was the brother of one of the people on the Kingdom’s 26 most wanted list. He was suspected of supporting militants.

December 2, 2004: Saudi security forces have arrested two militants in Artawiya and two others were captured in vicinity of Hafr Al Baten and Buraidah. Seven security forces were injured in the raids.

November 30, 2004: A suspected terrorist was surrounded by Saudi forces and captured north of Riyadh in the city of Buraidah in Al-Qassim province. The police faced no resistance.

November 29, 2004: Saudi security forces captured a suspected militant Riyadh after he failed to stop at a police check point.

November 28, 2004: The Interior Ministry announced that the person killed yesterday (11/27/2004), Essam Siddiq Qassem Mubaraki, was on the Kingdom most wanted list for his involvement in the Muhaya housing compound bombing in Riyadh in November 2003. November 29, 2004: Saudi border guards seized large quantities of weapons in the province of Asir on the Saudi-Yemeni border. The arms cache include: hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades, rocket launchers and dynamite sticks.

November 27, 2004: in Al-Jamia district of Jeddah at 6:30 pm, Saudi security attacked a car that had been under surveillance for a few days. The Saudi forces and the suspected terrorists engaged in a gun battle resulting in the death of a suspected militant and the detention of another.

November 22, 2004: Saudi security forces seized weapons cache and ammunition at from a suspected terrorist hideout in the city of Buraidah, in Al-Qasim province.

November 21, 2004: “Today at dawn the security forces arrested a member of the deviant minority [Al-Qaeda] who admitted wanting to carry out an act in a neighboring country… He said he had come here to consult his brothers and was arrested at 5am” Prince Abdullah said. Without specifying the targeted country.

November 13, 2004: The Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of three men in al-Zulfi, northwest of Riyadh. Two more people were arrested in Riyadh. Interior Ministry security spokesman, Brigadier-General Mansour al-Turki, said “They are suspected mostly of supporting the extremist thought. They were trying to spread it among the youth.”

November 11, 2004: Prince Nayef was quoted saying that the Kingdom is “stripping the terrorists of all means of carrying out criminal acts.”

November 7, 2004: Militants opened fire on Saudi security forces in the al-Jamia district of Jeddah. The security forces responded. One militant was killed and two were wounded in the attack. Saudi authorities found weapons cashes including automatic rifles, ammunitions, and grenades.

October 17, 2004: Two wanted terror suspects were arrested after a gun battle with Saudi security forces in Al-Khaleej district of Riyadh at 2:05am. One of the militants was wounded in the exchange of fire.

October 14, 2004: The Ministry of Interior announced that the Saudi security forces killed Abdul Majeed ibn Muhammad Abdullah Al-Munie, one of the Kingdom’s 26 most wanted list, during the gun battle with terrorists on October 12. He was killed with two other extremists: Essam ibn Muqbil Al-Otaibi and Abdul Hameed ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Yahya.

October 12, 2004: Three terror suspects were killed in a shootout with Saudi security forces in AlNahda district of Riyadh. The Interior Ministry statement said “After the area was sealed off, the militants moved seven women and a child to the first floor of the building in order to deceive the security forces. The terrorists, using machine guns and hand grenades, opened fire on the security forces from the second floor of the building.”

October 1, 2004: a man attacked a housing compound in Riyadh with a machine gun. Authorities report that there was little damage or injuries.

September 27, 2004: Saudi Arabia announces plans to host an international conference on combating terrorism in Riyadh, which will take place in February 5-8.

September 26, 2004: Laurent Barbot, 41, who is a technician for the French defense and electronics company, Thales, which is negotiating a border security deal, is shot dead in Jeddah. After a car chase and a shootout in the streets of Riyadh in Al-Shafa district, three suspects are injured, and one is arrested.

September 22, 2004: Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia claims responsibility for the killing of Edward Muirhead-Smith, a British, who is killed on September 15, 2004.

September 21, 2004: Saudi TV airs “Special Facts from Inside the Cell.” Two detained militants, Khaled al-Faraj and Abdul Rahman al-Roshoud, argue that al-Qaeda cells recruited young men and once they are in the cell, they are threatened to stay in, and many are afraid to leave.

September 20, 2004: Saudi Security forces clash with militants in the northern city of Tabuk. The gun battle ends with the arrests of 2 militants and the injuries of 3 Saudi officers.

September 15, 2004: Edward Stuart Muirhead-Smith, 55, a British citizen, who works for the telecommunication corporation Marconi, is shot and killed at the Max shopping center in eastern Riyadh.

September 6, 2004: A young man, who is accused of incitement of violence, is arrested near the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

September 5, 2004: Saudi security forces arrests 7 suspects in Buraydah. Three policemen are killed in the engagement.

September 3, 2004: Abdullah Al-Muqrin, who planned the attacks in May in Khobar, surrenders to the Saudi authorities. He is a relative of the slain Al-Qaeda chief.

September 2, 2004: One policeman is killed and three others are wounded in clashes with militants in a town northeast of Riyadh.

August 30, 2004: Gunmen opens fire at a U.S. diplomatic car near the U.S. consulate in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but there are no injuries.

August 29, 2004: Saudi police arrest two wanted militants in the central city of Buraidah in the Qasim Province.

August 17, 2004: Saudi Arabia’s major battle with terrorism is over, and the kingdom is chasing the last remaining militants, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz says in an interview.

August 16, 2004: “As a result, since September 11th, 2001, more than two-thirds of al-Qaeda’s top leadership have been killed or captured. More than 3,000 al-Qaeda criminals have been detained in over 100 countries. Terrorist cells have been wrapped up in Singapore, in Italy, right here in the United States. The Saudis are going after them with vigor and are more successful with each passing day.” — U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

August 5, 2004: Saudi security forces arrest Faris Ahmed Jamaan Al-Zahrani, the No. 11 on a list of most wanted 26 terrorists published by the Interior Ministry last December.

July 30, 2004: Abdurrahman Alamoudi pleads guilty in a Virginia court to moving cash from Libya and involvement in a plot to assassinate a Saudi Prince.

July 26, 2004: A message purportedly from an al-Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia surfaces, acknowledging that three of its militants were killed in a shootout last week with security forces.

July 23, 2004: The partial amnesty offered by the King expires.

July 20, 2004: Saudi Arabian security forces kill two terrorist suspects, including one on a mostwanted list, and capture six others in a gun battle late yesterday in the capital, Riyadh. Authorities also found the head of slain U.S. hostage Paul Johnson in a refrigerator in the suspects’ hideout.

July 14, 2004: A disabled Saudi terror suspect, Khaled ibn Odeh ibn Mohammed Al-Harbi, hands himself in to the Saudi embassy in Iran, the third to do so under a month-long partial amnesty announced in June. The man is suspected of being a top Al-Qaeda figure close to Osama Bin Laden and had been hiding along the Iran-Afghan border. He is the disabled man shown in the video found in Afghanistan showing bin Laden confessing to the 9/11 attacks.

July 4, 2004: Saudi security investigations uncover the deaths of two senior terrorists who died from untreated wounds after clashes with security forces in April 2004. Rakan ibn Mohsen Al-Seikhan and Nasser ibn Rashid Al-Rashid–both on a list of 26 most wanted suspects–were wounded during the April 12 clashes in Riyadh.

July 3, 2004: The Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry identifies the terrorist killed in a gun battle on July 1 as Awad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali Al-Awad and the one wounded as Abdul Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn Abdul Rahman Al-Abdul Wahab.

July 1, 2004: Saudi Security forces engage in a gun battle with terrorists killing one and wounding another. One Saudi police officer is killed in the fight and another is injured.

June 28, 2004: One of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted terrorists surrenders, the second suspect to turn himself in under the Amnesty. Othman Hadi Al-Maqbul Al-Amri, 37, a close associate of Saaban Al-Shehri, gives himself up after two years on the run.

June 25, 2004: Prince Nayef announces that Saudi Arabia will allow foreigners, who feel threatened by the wave of terrorist violence in the Kingdom, to carry guns for their protection.

June 24, 2004: The Ministry of Interior announces that Saaban Al-Shihri, a wanted terrorist, is the first to take advantage of the amnesty by surrendering to the police.

June 23, 2004: King Fahd offers terrorists a limited amnesty; calling on them to turn themselves in or face the “full might” of the state. In a televised address read on his behalf by Crown Prince Abdullah, King Fahd said those who willingly surrender within 30 days will be secure and warned all those who don’t will be subjected to a fierce crackdown.

June 18, 2004: The beheading of American Paul Johnson is posted on the militants’ website. Saudi security forces are able to track down and kill al-Qaeda leading Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin and three of his associates. Twelve others are also arrested in al-Malaz district of Riyadh.

June 15, 2004: A video of Paul Johnson is posted on an extremist website. They demand the release of all militants detained in Saudi jails.

June 12, 2004: Paul Johnson, an American who works for Lockheed Martin, is kidnapped by alQaeda. Kenneth Scroggs of Laconia, who worked for Advanced Electronics Co, is killed in his garage in Riyadh.

June 8, 2004: Robert C. Jacobs, an American defense contractor, is shot and killed in the Khaleej neighborhood in Riyadh.

June 7, 2004: Two BBC journalists are shot. Simon Cumbers is killed and security correspondent Frank Gardner is seriously injured in a gun attack in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

May 30, 2004: Saudi security commandos storm the Oasis compound and free the hostages. 22 people are killed in the attacks including 7 Saudi security officers. Three of the attackers escape. AlQaeda claims responsibility.

May 29, 2004: Four gunmen attack the Osais compound housing oil workers in Khobar, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia at about 7:30 a.m. Hostages, between 20-60, are being held at one compound.

May 27, 2004: The top al-Qaeda leader, Abdulaziz Al-Muqrin, in Saudi Arabia issues a battle plan for an urban guerrilla war in the kingdom. He gives a detailed list of steps militants should take to succeed in their campaign against the Saudi government. He argues that the campaign should include urban warfare, assassinations, kidnapping and bombing. The “execution group” or “strike force” in each four-tiered cell should be “trained to carry out operations inside cities, including assassinations, abductions, bombings, sabotage, raids and the liberation of hostages.”

May 20, 2004: The security forces come under heavy fire from machineguns after locating five militants in a rest house in Khudairah, a village in the area of Buraidah. Saudi security forces kill four terrorist suspects and injure another in a gunfight in the town of Buridah. A Saudi policeman is killed and five are wounded.

May 1, 2004: Gunmen opens fired against oil contractors in Yanbu, kills at least six people and wounds a dozen. A naked body is dragged behind a car. The Saudi police chase the militants and kill all four. At least one of the attackers is No. 10 on the Saudi most wanted list, Abdullah Saud Abu-Nayan al-Sobaie. In a simultaneous attack in Yanbu, a pipe bomb is thrown into an international school injuring the custodian.

April 29, 2004: U.S. State Department’s annual report, “Patterns of Global Terrorism – 2003,” praises Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the war against global terrorism, “I would cite Saudi Arabia as an excellent example of a nation increasingly focusing its political will to fight terrorism. Saudi Arabia has launched an aggressive, comprehensive, and unprecedented campaign to hunt down terrorists, uncover their plots, and cut off their sources of funding.”

April 24, 2004: King Fahd characterizes the April 21 attack as “the work of a deviant few who wanted to undermine the country, terrorize peaceful people and kill Muslims.”

April 22, 2004: Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz al-Sheik, the kingdom’s highest religious authority, condemns the attack “as one of the greatest sins” and says the attackers are “a lost minority under the cover of religion” and will be “burned in hell.”

April 22, 2004: The “Al Haramin (the holy sites) Brigades in the Arabian Peninsula” claim responsibility on web sites for the April 21 Riyadh suicide bombing against “special security forces.”

April 22, 2004: Saudi Security forces kill five terror suspects, including two of the country’s most wanted men, during raids in Al-safa district in Jeddah.

April 21, 2004: Terrorists launch two suicide car bombs attacks against Saudi Arabian security headquarters in Riyadh. Five people are killed and over 150 are wounded in the attack.

April 19, 2004: Saudi security forces seize two SUV loaded with explosives near a gas station on a highway north of Riyadh.

April 18, 2004: Eight terror suspects, linked to violent clashes with security forces in the capital, are arrested. Three large vehicle bombs — each with over a ton of explosives on board — are defused.

April 15, 2004: Evacuation is ordered for most U.S. diplomats in Saudi Arabia – “The United States ordered the evacuation of most U.S. diplomats and all U.S. family dependents from Saudi Arabia, and “strongly urged” all American citizens to leave because of “credible and specific” intelligence about terrorist attacks planned against U.S. and other Western targets.

April 13, 2004: In the town of Uniza, Qassim, during a police patrol, the security forces come under attack from militants believed to be the same from the day before. Four Saudi policemen are killed. Two trucks filled with explosives are confiscated by Saudi security.

April 12, 2004: A member of the security forces is killed, one militant is killed, and five policemen are wounded during a clash in eastern Riyadh.

April 8, 2004: Al-Qaeda chief in Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz al-Moqrin, puts out a video vowing to eject U.S. from the Arabian Peninsula, and argues that the real battle against the US is starting.

April 5, 2004: Saudi security forces kill a suspected militant and wound another during a car chase in al-Rawdah, an eastern Riyadh neighborhood—after receiving fire from a stolen car.

March 24, 2004: Thomas J. Harrington, Deputy Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, testifies to Congress, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an important partner in this international effort and has taken significant steps to deter global terrorism.”

March 24, 2004: Juan C. Zarate, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Executive Office for Terrorist Financing & Financial Crimes, U.S. Department of the Treasury, testifies to Congress, “the targeting actions and systemic reforms undertaken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia clearly demonstrate its commitment to work with us and the international community to combat the global threat of terrorist financing..”

March 24, 2004: J. Cofer Black, Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. State Department, testifies to Congress, “The Saudis are a key ally in the Global War On Terror. Their performance has not been flawless, and they have a large task before them, but we see clear evidence of the seriousness of purpose and the commitment of the leadership of the Kingdom to this fight.”

March 19, 2004: U.S. Secretary of State Powell meets Saudi officials in Riyadh, tells the press that the US and Saudi Arabia are united in war on terror.

March 15, 2004: Two of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted terror suspects, Khaled Ali Haj, a Yemeni, and Ibrahim bin Abdul-Aziz bin Mohammed al-Mezeini, a Saudi, are shot dead in a shootout with Saudi police.

February 28, 2004: A royal decree is announced to establish the Saudi National Commission for Relief and Charity Work abroad: to ensure that terrorist organizations do not misuse Saudi donations for humanitarian projects worldwide.

February 22, 2004: The Ministry of Interior confirms the death of A’amir Al-Zaidan Al-Shihri, one of the 16 most wanted terrorists announced in last December. His buried body is recovered from outside Riyadh.

February 16, 2004: British Airways cancels its flight from London to Riyadh, for ‘security reasons.’

February 14, 2004: Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry offers SR7 million rewards for information leading to the recovery of a GMC Suburban loaded with explosives.

February 13, 2004: The Interior Ministry warns residents in the capital against a possible terrorist attack. It says that a car laden with explosives registered to a wanted suspect could be used in the attack.

January 30, 2004: The Ministry of Interior announces a raid on a house in Al-Siliye district of Riyadh. 7 people are arrested, and weapons cache and military uniform are confiscated.

January 22, 2004: US Treasury Secretary John W. Snow tells a Washington news conference, “The United States and Saudi Arabia share a deep commitment to fighting the spread of terrorism in all its forms…Like the United States, the Saudis have been victims of al-Qaeda. They are an important partner in the war on terrorist financing, and have taken important and welcome steps to fight terrorist financing.”

January 12, 2004: The Ministry of Interior announces the progress of the war against the militants. They announce the confiscation of: 23,893 kg of explosive, 301 RPG, 431 homemade grenades, 304 explosive belts, 674 detonators, 1,020 small arms and 352,398 rounds of ammunition.

January 8, 2004: Swiss police arrest 8 suspects for their involvement in the May 12 attack in Riyadh.

January 3, 2004: Brig. Gen. Hadi Mabjer Al-Sahli, chairman of the military council at the border guards command in the Jizan region, is killed in front of his house.

December 30, 2003: Mansour ibn Muhammad Faqeeh, one of the most wanted terrorists in the Kingdom, surrenders to the security forces.

December 18, 2003: Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage tells a television interviewer”… the Saudis have been going after these terrorists and trying to tear them out, root and branch…the Government of Saudi Arabia has been terrific, particularly since May 12th and their Riyadh bombing.”

December 17, 2003: The United States says it will allow its non-essential diplomats to leave Saudi Arabia due to security concerns.

December 8, 2003: One of the Kingdom’s most wanted terrorists, Mohammad Abdullah Al-Rayis, one of the 26 most wanted, is killed. Another militant is arrested following a shootout with the security forces in Al-Suwaidy district in southern Riyadh. The Ministry of Interior praises the “citizen’s cooperation.”

December 7, 2003: Security forces arrest 25 suspects in connection with the May 12 bombings in Riyadh.

December 6, 2003: The Saudi Ministry of Interior releases a list and the photos of 26 wanted terrorist suspects. A reward of up to $1.9 is also offered to anyone who would lead the authorities to the arrest of the 26 militants.

December 4, 2003: Brigadier General Abdulaziz al-Huwairini escapes an assassination attempt in Riyadh. The “Two Holy Mosques Brigade” claims responsibility, and declares in a statement that ‘since our brothers in al-Qaeda are busy fighting the crusaders, we took it upon ourselves to cleanse the land of the two holy mosques of the crusaders’ agents’ — a reference to the Saudi government.

December 2, 2003: A U.S. Embassy issues a warning to the 37,000 U.S. citizens living in Saudi Arabia, saying that compounds housing Westerners have come under surveillance by terrorists, indicating the possibility of another attack.

December 1, 2003: The UK Foreign and the Commonwealth Office advise British nationals against all but essential travel to Saudi Arabia.

November 26, 2003: A raid takes place in which a terrors suspect, who is linked to the Nov-9 bombing, is arrested. A large cache of weapons is confiscated including: 1 SAM-7, 5 RPG launchers, 384 KG of explosives (RDX), 8 AK47, 41 AK47 magazines, 20 hand grenades, 16800 rounds of ammunition. Money and communication devices are also found.

November 25, 2003: A car bomb is foiled in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Two notorious terror suspects die in the raid. Abdulmohsin Abdulaziz Al-Shabanat is killed in a gun battle and Mosaed Dheedan Al-Sobaiee also is killed as a hand grenade detonated. At least 10 suspects are detained in different parts of the country.

November 20, 2003: Abdullah bin Atiyyah Al-Salami, a terror suspect, surrenders to Saudi police.

November 10, 2003 – Saudi Arabia’s Progress in the War on Terrorism – Saudi Embassy releases detailed report on actions to combat terrorists. [more] including: Actions to Counter Terrorism [more]; Specific Cases [more]; International Cooperation [more]; Actions Taken in the Financial Area [more]

November 8, 2003 — Riyadh — Suicide bomb attack against residential compound believed to be by Al Qaeda members. Preliminary casualty figures: 11 dead, 122 injured. [more]

November 7, 2003 — Saudi security forces encircled two terrorists in Riyadh. The terrorists shot at the security forces and committed suicide by blowing themselves up.

November 3, 2003 — Saudi police arrested six suspected Al-Qaeda militants after a shootout in the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. The raid on an apartment triggered a shootout that left two suspected terrorists dead, and one security officer wounded. Officers also seized a large cache of weapons they believe were stockpiled for attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The militants had rented the apartment for just the month of Ramadan.

November 2, 2003 — US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, “The Saudi government, particularly since they were attacked some weeks and months ago, has been very aggressive, more aggressive than ever in the past.”

October 20, 2003 — Saudi security forces raided several terrorist cells in various parts of the country, including the city of Riyadh, the Al-Majma’a District in Riyadh Province, Makkah Province, the Jeddah District of Makkah Province, and Qasim Province. Security forces confiscated items including C4 plastic explosives, home-made bombs, gas masks, and large quantities of assault rifles and ammunition.

October 5, 2003 — Security forces arrested three suspects during a raid in the desert to the east of Riyadh. On October 8, 2003 security forces raided a farm in the northern Muleda area of Qasim Province and were able to arrest a suspect. Three other suspects fled the scene. Two security officers suffered injuries. Security forces found large amounts of material to make explosives and light weaponry in the farm where the suspects had been hiding.

September 23, 2003 — Security forces surrounded a group of suspected terrorists in an apartment in the city of Jizan on September 23, 2003. During a gun battle, one security officer was killed and four officers injured. Two suspects were arrested and one suspect was killed. The suspects were armed with machine guns and pistols and a large quantity of ammunition.

August 29, 2003 — US Attorney General John Ashcroft commended Saudi Arabia’s efforts in the war on terrorism and stated: “I believe that progress is being made and I think not only that it (cooperation) is good but it continues to improve.”

August 2003 — The Council of Ministers approved new money-laundering and terror financing laws that include harsh penalties for the crime of money laundering and terror financing.

August 2003 — Saudi Arabia and the United States established a second joint task force in August 2003, this one aimed at combating the financing of terror. The task force was initiated by Crown Prince Abdullah.

July 28, 2003 — Saudi security forces killed on July 28 six terrorist suspects and injured one in a gunfight at a farm in Qasim Province, 220 miles north of the capital, Riyadh.

July 25, 2003 — Three men were arrested on July 25 at a checkpoint in Makkah for possessing printed material that included a “religious edict” in support of terrorist acts against Western targets.

July 21, 2003 — Saudi authorities defused terrorist operations which were about to be carried out against vital installations and arrested 16 members of a number of terrorist cells after searching their hideouts in farms and houses in Riyadh Province, Qasim Province and the Eastern Province.

July 3, 2003 — Turki Nasser Mishaal Aldandany, a top Al-Qaeda operative and mastermind of the May 12 bombings, was killed on July 3 along with three other suspects in a gun battle with security forces that had them surrounded.

June 14, 2003 — Saudi security raided a terrorist cell on June 14 in the Alattas building in the Khalidiya neighborhood of Makkah. Two Saudi police officers and five suspects were killed in a shootout. Twelve suspects were arrested, and a number of booby-trapped Qur’ans and 72 home-made bombs, in addition to weapons, ammunition, and masks were confiscated.

May 31, 2003 — Yousif Salih Fahad Al-Ayeeri, a.k.a. Swift Sword, a major Al-Qaeda operational planner and fundraiser, was killed on May 31 while fleeing from a security patrol.

May 28, 2003 — Eleven suspects were taken into custody on May 27 and May 28 in the city of Madinah. Weapons, false identity cards and bomb-making materials were confiscated. In addition, Saudi national Abdulmonim Ali Mahfouz Al-Ghamdi was arrested, following a car chase. Three non-Saudi women without identity cards, who were in the car he was driving, were detained.

May 12, 2003 — Riyadh — Bombers attack compound housing mostly Western residents resulting in 35 dead, including 10 Americans and 7 Saudis, 200 wounded. Nine attackers among the dead, six believed to be captured. [more]

May 2003 — Saudi Arabia asked the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation and all Saudi charities to suspend activities outside Saudi Arabia until mechanisms are in place to adequately monitor and control funds so they cannot be misdirected for illegal purposes.

May 2003 — SAMA instructed all banks and financial institutions in the Kingdom to stop all financial transfers by Saudi charities to any accounts outside the Kingdom.

February 2003 — The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) began to implement a major technical program to train judges and investigators on legal matters involving terrorism financing and money-laundering methods, international requirements for financial secrecy, and methods followed by criminals to exchange information.

March 2002 — The U.S. Treasury Department and Saudi Arabia blocked the accounts of the Somalia and Bosnia branches of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation.

September 11, 2001 — Al Qaeda strikes the United States in coordinated airplane hijacking and attacks against the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and aboard an aircraft that was crashed in Pennsylvania.

May 2, 2001 — Khobar — Letter bomb injures American doctor. [more]

December 15, 2000 — Khobar — Bomb left on car windshield severely injures British citizen. [more]

November 22, 2000 — Riyadh — A bomb explodes in a car wounding two men and a woman. [more]

November 17, 2000 — Riyadh — A car bomb killed Christopher Rodway and wounded his wife. [more]

June 25, 1996 — Khobar — Truck containing about 5000 pounds of explosives targeted against US military dormitory results in 19 dead and about 500 wounded. Perpetrators escaped, later indicted by U.S. [more about Khobar Tower] [more about the indictment]

November 13, 1995 — Riyadh — The U.S. Office of the Personnel Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard (OPM/SANG) — American training mission — was attacked by a car bomb in a parking lot. Six killed, including five Americans, and 60 injured. The “Tigers of the Gulf,” “Islamist Movement for Change,” and “Fighting Advocates of God” claim responsibility. Saudi authorities arrested and executed perpetrators. [more on bombing] [more on OPM/SANG]

1994 — Osama bin Laden stripped of Saudi citizenship.

July 1989, two bombs exploded in the vicinity of Mecca’s Grand Mosque. The following September, the Saudis executed 16 Kuwaiti Shi`is for their part in the explosions. [more]

1988 and 1989, a previously unknown group called Saudi Hezbollah claimed credit for a series of terrorist attacks on petrochemical installations and the assassination of Saudi diplomats abroad (in Ankara, Bangkok, and Karachi). [more]

November 20, 1979 Grand Mosque Seizure: Surprising many who believed fundamentalism was not a strong force in Saudi Arabia, Sunni Islamic dissidents seized control of the Grand Mosque at Mecca, one of the holiest sites in Islam. The (200) armed dissidents charged that the Al Saud regime had lost its legitimacy due to corruption and its closer ties to Western nations. The standoff lasted for several weeks before the Saudi military succeeded in removing the dissidents. More than 200 troops and dissidents were killed at the mosque, and subsequently over 60 dissidents were publicly beheaded. [more about the attack] [more about the Grand Mosque]