Terrorism: December 3, 2003


Saudi Arabia continues to battle it's home grown Islamic terrorists. Because of the civilians killed by some of the terrorist attacks,  much of the population is behind the government effort, and providing tips on terrorist activity. Thus more terrorists are rounded up each week. In the last few weeks, there have been several raids that yielded large caches of weapons and explosives. On November 27th, a raid seized a truck, painted to look like a military vehicle, that was equipped with a 2,790 pounds bomb. There were three canisters of cooking gas in the truck as well, a common al Qaeda method to increase the destructive effect. AK-47s, RPG launchers, 1300 rounds of rifle ammo and military uniforms were seized, and two terrorists were killed. The government did not say what the target of this bomb was, but in the last few days, warnings have been issued about potential attacks against Saudi skyscrapers, hotels and housing areas for foreigners. This was followed by warnings of possible attacks against Western targets in Kenya. The Saudi counter-terrorism effort has led to the arrests of hundreds of terrorists and active supporters. The interrogations have revealed connections between al Qaeda members in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait and the large Arab populations in East Africa. Kenya, it was revealed, was a popular al Qaeda base because port and police officials were easily bribed by Arabs. This despite previous terror attacks by Arabs in the country. The Saudi interrogations apparently also produced the information that led to the arrest of 14 terror suspects in Europe. Searches of the suspects homes yielded weapons, bomb making material and al Qaeda literature. While Saudi Arabia has long been the source of many al Qaeda recruits and fund raising, it is now becoming a major source of information on how and where al Qaeda is operating.


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