Terrorism: May 26, 2001


Osama Bin Laden, the only international terrorist left.

Americans visiting Saudi Arabia are still being warned to "maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness to reduce their vulnerability. Americans should maintain a low profile, vary routes and times for all required travel, and treat mail and packages from unfamiliar sources with suspicion. In addition, American citizens are also urged to avoid contact with any suspicious, unfamiliar objects, and to report their presence to local authorities. American citizens should park their motor vehicles in protected areas with restricted access and should inspect them before using them, looking underneath, inside the engine compartment, and inside the trunk. Use of flashlight at night for vehicle inspection is also recommended." But there's more to it than that. For all it's wealth and adherence of Islamic law, Saudi Arabia still has a frontier element to it. The Saudi's are quite proud of their Bedouin heritage, and all the freewheeling nomadic lifestyle that implied. While the government has used generous housing and employment offers to get most nomads to settle down, the nomad attitude still exists. Think Wild West with an overtone of Islamic morality. Blood feuds and violent solutions to personal problems are still common. Many of the foreigners have picked up on this attitude. Lover's spats are sometimes settled with bombs or gunfire. Another source of violence is the alcohol underground. Booze is prohibited in Saudi Arabia. But most foreigners, and many Saudis, like a nip now and then. To cater to this demand, there are always a few illegal stills or smuggling rings in operation. Battles for market share are often violent and loud. Whenever a bomb goes off, the police have to first figure out if the cause was criminal or ideological. Then again, criminals have always been the cause of most terrorist


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