ABU DHABI Ñ Saudi Arabia unrolled an unprecedented security buildup
meant to foil additional Al Qaida suicide strikes believed planned to
coincide with the end of the Islamic fast month of Ramadan.
Saudi security sources said police and special troops have been deployed
in several major Saudi cities as well as around Western compounds and
The sources said authorities are concerned that Al Qaida
plans to launch a spectacular suicide strike over the next 10 days.
Other troops have been sent to the Saudi border with Yemen. The
1,600-kilometer border has been regarded as a way-station for explosives and
insurgents for Al Qaida, Middle East Newsline reported.
The Saudi Cabinet has approved a proposal to deploy another 545 security
officers along the border. The sources did not say when this would take
In Riyad, the largest presence of security forces is at the Western and
other foreign compounds in the Saudi capital. Many of the compounds have
been surrounded with new guard outposts, machine gun nests, barriers and
The sources said the compounds have been placed under the responsibility
of the National Guard, headed by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz.
Many of the compounds are protected by video cameras as well as three
checkpoints to prevent suspicious cars from approaching. Streets leading to
major compounds have been closed.
"We were given orders from the top that security around compounds should
be tightened and that the number of guards be doubled," a Saudi security
source told the Jedda-based Arab News. There are more security checkpoints
and surveillance points. All loopholes are plugged."
Saudi officials reported increased security along the Yemeni border. A
statement by the Saudi Border Guards asserted that the unit captured 2,565
sticks of dynamites, 44 hand grenades and a large amount of explosives over
the last six months. The statement also said equipment used by Al Qaida
insurgents was also seized.