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Why Al-Qaida Is Attacking the Saudi Kingdom
Town Hall ^ | November 10, 2003 | (Walid Phares PhD

Posted on 11/09/2003 9:46:24 PM PST by quidnunc

Since I have been asked to analyze them since the Fall of 2001, I have always argued that Bin Laden's tapes have to be taken seriously. When he called his Mujahedeen to attack infidels around the Middle East last October on an audiotape released on al-Jazeera, he was, in fact, issuing orders. (See ) And those orders are now in effect.

Last May, Al-Qaida engaged itself in its first major terror attack within Saudi Arabia when it targeted the Western compound. That was a testing strike. It could have been read also as a threat against the ruling establishment in the Kingdom. The princes who have been showing signs of reluctance in supporting the "sheik of Jihad" were taught a lesson, according to circles sympathetic to Bin Laden.

Riyadh was compressed between its traditional inclination to Wahabism and its realist ties to the United States. Al-Qaida wanted to force the Saudis to basculate either way, or basculate inwards. From May to November, six months were given to the Kingdom to make its choice. (See ). In the eyes of Bin Laden, it seems that the royal, or at least the Saudi ruling elite, made its choice. It didn't abandon Wahabism as a state ideology, but it decided to crack down on the organization.

During the summer, Saudi security zoomed in on what it identified as al-Qaida cells. Firefights broke out in several cities between the police and the terrorists. Caches of weapons were found. A number of al-Qaida members were arrested and jailed, but not transferred to the US. The Saudi Government wanted to draw a line between shrinking al-Qaida's influence inside the Kingdom and fully joining an international campaign against Jihadism.  But this attitude was a 'casus belli' in Bin Laden's eyes.

However, the worse occurred by the way of political theology, not through the means of security technology. One day, Crown Prince Abdallah made a declaration of war against the "clerics" who protected al-Qaida and legitimized violence. He called them "intruders" and "enemies of the true path." That alone was worth of the whole Saudi Army fighting in Tora Bora. This was War!

At the end of the summer, Bin Laden circulated more than one memorandum, closer to a Fatwa then a legal opinion, to refute Prince Abdallah's criticism of the clerics. The storm was brewing. By October, winds of Jihad were blowing. On the 19th, Usama Bin laden airs his audiotape on al-Jazeera. The Qatari-based Satellite TV not only broadcast the message, but plays it all day long, and assembles intellectuals to explain it better to the populace. The "State of Jihad" address is in place:


(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; alqaedasaudiarabia; ramadan2003; riyadh; saudi; saudiarabia; stoptheexcerpts
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1 posted on 11/09/2003 9:46:25 PM PST by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc
There must be some reason Al Jeezera is still functioning. They must be useful in some manner. As far as I'm concerned, they are obviously part and parcel Al Qaeda.
2 posted on 11/09/2003 9:54:35 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: quidnunc
I wonder how many of the '600 prisoners' the Saudis have captured are still alive? No mention of court cases for them, huh?
3 posted on 11/09/2003 9:59:51 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
A lot of them were reputed to be in the al-Hair prison fire when it burnt down:

That's my own take on this whole mess.
4 posted on 11/09/2003 10:01:27 PM PST by Angelus Errare
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To: quidnunc
I think its time we activate their dental plan.
5 posted on 11/09/2003 10:02:44 PM PST by Walkingfeather
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To: Angelus Errare
Excellent link, thanks, Everyone should read the link in post #4.
6 posted on 11/09/2003 10:15:13 PM PST by blam
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To: quidnunc
"The attack against the al-Muhayya neighborhood is typical of al-Qaida methodology. The organization attacks the "infidels" wherever it can reach them in Arabia, then waits to see the authorities falling in front of hard choices; either with the infidels or against them."

But virtually all of the casualties at al-Muhayya were Muslim. It was an upscale Muslim neighborhood of Syrians and Lebanese. So, how does killing Muslim women and children translate to attacking "infidels"?

7 posted on 11/09/2003 10:19:10 PM PST by okie01 ( Congress isn't for the morally halt and the mentally lame.)
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To: quidnunc
Al-Qaeda under bin Laden desires to overthrow the Saudi monarchy. The problem is so do the oppressed subjects of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The dilemma of US Foreign Policy is to paradoxically set up a democracy in Iraq while maintaining the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia in not a democracy but a theocracy.
8 posted on 11/09/2003 10:48:48 PM PST by Mel Gibson (In response to the "huge hit our economy would take due to the increase in fuel cost"?)
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To: okie01
Because great goal is to usurp Saudi family. Saudi family is dependent not just on West but on people from around Muslim world. If foreign Arabs living in Arabia to leave, with their money, jobs, and skills, economy will be destroyed. Already this has largely happened - fewer and fewer foreigners visit now Saudi. Goal is to make revolution first, then perhaps to help fellow Muslims later.
9 posted on 11/09/2003 10:53:00 PM PST by Alter Kaker (Whatever tears one may shed, in the end one always blows one’s nose.-Heine)
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To: quidnunc
Eureka! What an essay!

Now, it computes!
10 posted on 11/09/2003 10:57:12 PM PST by bonesmccoy (Defeat the terrorists... Vaccinate!)
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To: quidnunc
The Kingdom has finally stopped funding "known" Al Queda so-called Charities.
11 posted on 11/09/2003 10:57:46 PM PST by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: quidnunc
Article published Nov 10, 2003
Al-Qaida blamed for attack in Saudi Arabia


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudis blamed al-Qaida militants Sunday for the suicide car bombing of a Riyadh housing complex that killed 17 people, declaring it proof of the terror network's willingness to shed Muslim blood in its zeal to bring down the U.S.-linked Saudi monarchy.

The Saturday night attack at an upscale compound for foreign workers also wounded 122 people. The blast, not far from diplomatic quarters and the king's main palace, left piles of rubble, hunks of twisted metal, broken glass and a large crater.

"It's no longer an issue of terrorism for them," said Dawood al-Shirian, a Saudi analyst. "It's become a war on the regime, a war to turn the country into a new Afghanistan ruled by a Saudi-style Taliban."

An Interior Ministry official told the official Saudi news agency late Sunday that the death toll rose to 17 — including five children — after search crews pulled six more bodies from the rubble. At least 13 were Arabs, with the others as yet unidentified, the official said.

President Bush telephoned his condolences to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah. Bush told Abdullah the United States stands with the kingdom in the fight against terror, a White House official said.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said he was "personally quite sure" al-Qaida was behind the Saturday night attack "because this attack bears the hallmark of them."

Such attacks appear to be directed "against the government of Saudi Arabia and the people of Saudi Arabia," he said, adding that he expected more to follow.

Al-Qaida "will prefer to have many such attacks to appear bigger than they are," he told a news conference shortly after arriving in the Saudi capital. Such attacks showed that "all of us have to work together."

Led by Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida has long opposed the Saudi royal family, accusing it of being insufficiently Islamic and too close to the West, particularly the United States.

The attack came as the kingdom is pushing social and legal reforms it has stalled for years and pursuing Islamic militants with a determination and openness Saudis have never seen. For decades, the government was reluctant to confront religious extremists, because it draws its legitimacy partly from the royal family's close association with the strict Wahabi Islamic philosophy.

Gunmen — possibly disguised as police — shot their way into the 200-house compound, trading fire with security guards. The attackers, believed to be in a police car, then drove into the compound and blew themselves up.

It still wasn't clear how many attackers there were or if they were listed as among the dead.

The victims included Lebanese, Egyptian, Sudanese and Saudis. The Interior Ministry said most of the wounded were Arabs as well. Most of the compound's residents were Lebanese, but some Saudis, German, French and Italian families also lived there.

Four U.S. citizens were among the wounded, the ministry said. In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Amanda Batt said "some Americans were treated for minor injuries and released."

In comments published Sunday on the Web site of Saudi daily Okaz newspaper, Interior Minister Prince Nayef said he could not rule out a connection to suspected al-Qaida terrorist cells targeted in recent sweeps, as a number of suspects from those cells were still at large.

Adding to the al-Qaida connection was the similarity between Saturday's bombing and attacks also blamed on the terror network — particularly the May 12 suicide car bombings of other Riyadh compounds housing foreigners, which killed 26 bystanders. Nine attackers also died.

The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar, condemned the attack and said Saudi Arabia is "at war with these terrorists."

"We are driving them out of their hiding places, we are killing and capturing their leaders, and we are choking off their means of support. As a result, their actions grow more desperate and more heinous."

By targeting foreigners' housing compounds, the attackers target the backbone of the Saudi economy. Saudi Arabia is home to 6 million expatriate workers, including about 35,000 Americans and 30,000 Britons. The kingdom relies on foreigners in its oil industry, security forces and health sector.

At the compound, located in a ravine surrounded by hills, residents trickled back Sunday to salvage mementos, clothes, passports and other personal items.

Prince Nayef, the interior minister, toured the site early Sunday and then warned that authorities would pursue anyone who would attack the kingdom and stop them "no matter how long the path is ... until we are completely certain that our country is free of every devil and every evil person."

Saturday's attack came a day after the United States warned it had "credible" evidence of a planned terrorist attack. The three U.S. diplomatic missions in the kingdom closed Sunday for the second straight day.

Saudi analysts say the militants are lashing out now for fear that the reform process would marginalize them and end the influence they automatically enjoyed as men of religion.

"Those people are desperate now," Turki al-Hamad, a prominent Saudi political scientist and columnist, said. "They know they cannot carry out coups. They know they cannot get to the palaces. The only thing they can do is create a state of confusion and disorder."

Since the May 12 attacks, the government has been holding down the more radical rhetoric in mosques and the media and has removed some portions in religious school textbooks that incite against Christians and Jews. It recently announced it will hold the first elections ever — a vote on municipal councils — next year. And it has adopted new restrictions on Islamic charities to ensure donations do not end up funding terror.

An anti-terror sweep launched after the May attacks has netted more than 600 extremists.

In the past week, police clashed with suspected al-Qaida sympathizers in the streets of the sacred city of Mecca, killing two militants and uncovering a large cache of weapons. Three days later, two suspected militants blew themselves up in Mecca to avoid arrest and a third suspect was killed in a shootout with security forces in Riyadh.

AP-ES-11-09-03 1914EST
12 posted on 11/09/2003 11:00:12 PM PST by stlnative
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To: All
Bin Laden's "State of Jihad" Address
By Dr. Walid Phares | October 20, 2003

Many find Osama bin Laden's most recent audiotape too dense. It covers myriad areas in, at least, 21 minutes. Western media usually expect the head of al-Qaida to threaten the U.S. and praise past attacks. But in this tape, he enunciates a whole doctrine.

Ever since 1998's fatwa and declaration of War against "Jews and Crusaders," the man who ordered 9/11 has revealed his international agenda. He has been clear and specific on every ground. This last tape is an advanced "State of the Jihad Address," as well as another slap in the face of the doubters. Indeed, the tape has proven, once again, that the Jihadists are not the product of some U.S. foreign policy. Far from this stereotype, the men of this Holy war have their own world policy. And this is what the al-Jazeera aired audiotape is all about.

On the Nature of Jihad

Against the attempts by a sea of intellectuals who have, and still attempt to read "social injustice" into the roots of the 9/11, the sultan of al-Qaida reaffirmed that this "Jihad is against the Kuffars (infidels), those who have assembled today under the banner of the Cross."

Evidently, this is not a Marxist discourse. His war is, among others, specifically directed at Christians and Jews. It is also against the "munafiqeen," those Muslims who strayed away from the right path. Time has not changed in the mind of bin Laden.The world is divided between his cohorts of Mujahideen, and as he called them in the audiotape: the "Byzantines." The man perceives himself, at least, as a Saladin. He still views Baghdad as the second capital of Islam and his fighters in Iraq as the emulators of those 7th-century "knights who stretched Islam from Mesopotamia to China" with their swords.

Evidently, this logic will force bin Laden to see the international campaign against terrorism as a "new Crusading campaign." In this tape again, Osama states, clearer than ever, that the goal of his terror is to "establish an Islamic Government ruled by the Sharia."

On Peace and Stability

Maybe the one stunning statement bin Laden made was his resounding "No" to peaceful and democratic solutions. That is probably the most significant sentence in the whole speech. I have several times drawn conclusions about his ultimate methods but those words seal his doctrine. The man is the enemy of peace.

Furthermore, the terrorist leader rejects all "parliamentary practices," calling them "religion of Jahiliya," referring to the times preceding Islam. Subsequently, "Muslim Governments such as Hamid Karzai are traitors. And the Mahmoud Abbas of the world must be eliminated." In sum, and in the audio appeal, "road maps" to peaceful solutions, are to be blocked.

As a "Caliph" of the Jihad movement worldwide, bin Laden designates the enemy: in addition to the traditional U.S., U.K., he upgrades Spain, Poland, Australia and others to the level of states to be punished. Kuwait is singled out as an outrageous country that allowed infidel troops to pass through.

On America

In the eyes of Osama, America "is sinking in the two rivers" (Tigris and Euphrates). While the U.S. Congress is hesitant to grant $87 billion to the Administration, Osama advances the ballistic number of a trillion dollars in losses. He unleashes his particular hatred on the man who dared wage a war on terror out of the White House, and he promises suicide attacks on all Americans. One can see why al-Qaida's leaders desperately "need" a strike in the U.S. Homeland. None has been accomplished since 9/11.

On Battle Guidelines

The marching orders are distributed to the Mujahideen. All the Muslim "youth" must march from Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Arabia and Yemen into the battlefield of Iraq. Women must mobilize as well -- female suicide bombers are needed. In Iraq: Ansar al Islam, Kurds and Arabs, are to unite and fight the Coalition and the Iraqi "traitors."

In Palestine, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Cashemir, Chechniya, the Jihad must go forward. Osama declares: "We reserve the right to retaliate at the proper time and place against all countries that take part in this unjust war, namely Britain, Spain, Australia, Poland, Japan and Italy."

The Gulf states, he added, "chiefly Kuwait, were some launching pads for the crusader forces." They are an open field as well.

Al-Jazeera’s Amplifiers

What is especially noticeable in this last "fuhrer message," is the messenger, i.e., Al-Jazeera. The audio material was two months old, but the Qatar-based TV channel aired it only now. Logically, al-Qaida's public relations department would like to air its statements as fast as they do on their web sites; that is instant. But al-Jazeera aired it when President Bush was touring South Asia, just before he visits the remnants of the Bali attack. This is, certainly, a symbolic gesture on behalf of the messenger, who had the alleged control over the timing. Better, the "experts" who commented on the tape amplified its effects better.

An al-quds al-Arabi weekly editor, Abdel Bari Atwan, emphasized the "strategic dimension" of the message. Out of London, he said: "how ironic that this statement came a day after U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Boykin was attacking the religion." Not surprisingly, the amplifiers of al-Jazeera made it to capture the attention of all potential Jihadists in the region and beyond. The messenger was as good as the message.

Osama may be in some cave, but his words are out in the open. Now let's see if the some politicians in the West will finally leave their psychological caves and address the real root causes of today's terrorism.

Walid Phares is a Professor of Middle East Studies and Religious Conflict and a Terrorism expert with MSNBC.
13 posted on 11/09/2003 11:01:10 PM PST by bonesmccoy (Defeat the terrorists... Vaccinate!)
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To: Alter Kaker
reinforcing your opinion:
By targeting foreigners’ housing compounds, the attackers target the backbone of the Saudi economy. Saudi Arabia is home to 6 million expatriate workers, including about 35,000 Americans and 30,000 Britons. The kingdom relies on foreigners in its oil industry, security forces and health sector.
14 posted on 11/09/2003 11:03:30 PM PST by bonesmccoy (Defeat the terrorists... Vaccinate!)
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To: Alter Kaker
"Goal is to make revolution first, then perhaps to help fellow Muslims later."

Good insight.

But, have they bitten off more than they can chew?

15 posted on 11/09/2003 11:14:45 PM PST by okie01 ( Congress isn't for the morally halt and the mentally lame.)
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To: McGavin999
There must be some reason Al Jeezera is still functioning.

And the difference between Al Jeezera and the New York Times is......

Ok - end sarcasm. But the Lefties love that 'news' network. There are a couple people at my workplace that think it's the only way to get the truth from the Middle East. Yes, they both are virulent DemoRats.

16 posted on 11/09/2003 11:21:03 PM PST by Ophiucus
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To: bonesmccoy
Right now the monarchy of Saudi Arabia is riding a tiger, the tiger that they financed and supported, they have made a Faustian bargain with bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the terrorists.

The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar, condemned the attack and said Saudi Arabia is "at war with these terrorists".

Then Saudi Arabia is at war with itself.

17 posted on 11/10/2003 12:23:05 AM PST by Mel Gibson (In response to the "huge hit our economy would take due to the increase in fuel cost"?)
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To: Alter Kaker
The economy is supported not only with oil, but also drug money laundering. The Royals have almost limitless resources.
18 posted on 11/10/2003 5:14:35 AM PST by az wildkitten
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To: All
Fox Early News this morning gave a conjecture which may have weight:

The housing complex which was targetted by AlQaeda was previously an American Corporation Residence for Boeing.
The terrorist strategy could just be desperation, and/or poor and outdated intelligence.

They reported the housing complex was turned over to local citizen use around three years ago.

It does sound credible enough, but somehow I doubt what is left of this band of monsters has any legitimate need for planning. Killing is their recipe for attention, nothing else. Virgins await.
19 posted on 11/10/2003 5:38:54 AM PST by MAGEE
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To: All
A bit of a digression but it does explain binLaden and the Saud royals. Last week Arnaud De Borchgrave of CSIS and UPI was on CSPAN and due the fates or serendipity, I turned to that station while surfing to find him giving a detailed talk on his recent visit to Pakistan, during which he also related a tale of meeting with one of the Saud Princes just after the Gulf War I while visiting him in London.

This is the gist of his information. I ordered a transcript tape of the program so it is fairly accurate:

The Saud Royal Family run the country of Saudi Arabia like a corporation with the thousands of male and female royals being "served" by those of other nations whom they can employ. Witness the recent meetings with Pakistan to supply their nuclear needs. (Why you ask would a country of an abundance of oil need nuclear power???)

They can equip a military with men and equipment of the best calibre, but cannot operate it themselves and have to hire people for that purpose as well.

After Gulf War I, De Borchgrave was in London and met with one of the Saud princes, who at the pre-war era was the Minister of Defense for Saudi Arabia.

When Iraq invaded Kuwait, binLaden approached this particular prince and offered to launch a strike against Hussein and the Republican Guard to remove them from Kuwait.
binLaden had suggested he was well schooled in military maneuver and planning as he had experience with Afghanistan and the Russians with much success.

The Saud prince related to De Borchgrave that his response to binLaden was a greivous error in that he said "No", he would be requesting the assistance of the U.S. and any coalition forces they could get together.

Thus began the blind hatred by binLaden for the western infidels invading his country and surrounding neighbors.

I found it an interesting story, but as the creator of the story is an arab a people who are inclined at the present time to "fudge" a bit on their recollections of events...I will give it a 10% bit of fluff too...although De Borchgrave seems a legitimate and credible reporter and there is no reason for him to dress it up.

Could that have been the master switch to unleash all of binLaden's hatred for the infidel west? I wonder.

The tape I ordered from CSPAN is extremely interesting and I neglected to write out the Saud Prince's name, but perhaps will have time to rewind it and have a second look.
20 posted on 11/10/2003 5:54:53 AM PST by MAGEE
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