Terrorism: October 18, 2002


Saudi Arabia has long been known as a hotbed for Islamic radicalism and pro-terrorist attitudes. But the Saudis have insisted on using a low key approach to dealing with it. An example of that was a plot during the Summer of 2001 by Saudi terrorists to blow up the Ras Tanura oil terminal (the largest in the world.) This plot was discovered and arrests made. But the Saudis continued to back off from widespread arrests. This is still the case, although in Saudi Arabia, local customs (everyone belongs to a tribe and tribal ties are important) make it possible for government officials to sit down and talk to pro-terrorist Saudis. The government tries to convince the pro-terrorist Saudis that it would be "unislamic" to attack the kingdom. In response, the Saudi officials are told they are desecrating the Islamic holy places and, in general bad guys. Everyone finishes their coffee and goes their separate ways. The government has used family connections to prevent some young terrorists from acting out their destructive fantasies, or getting the young lads out of the country. But radical Islamic religious leaders are left alone, unless they take an active part in plotting violence. Thus new generations of terrorism minded young Saudis keep coming.


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