ABU DHABI ø Security systems have become a hot item in Saudi Arabia amid Al Qaida's offensive against the kingdom.
Saudi contractors reported a significant increase in sales of security
systems for the protection of facilities, offices and sites. They included
infrared cameras, sensors and communications equipment.
"Our requests for such security items as access control systems has gone
up by 20 percent and for electronic cameras and other surveillance equipment
by 15 percent over the last two years," Jamal Okhla, executive manager of
Arab Builders for Security, told the Jedda-based Arab News.
Contractors said the increased demand includes that from both government
and private companies, Middle East Newsline reported. The greatest demand, they said, was from Western
residency compounds in such cities as Jedda and Riyad.
The Interior Ministry has increased security around key facilities in
Saudi Arabia since the Al Qaida attack on the petrochemical and refinery
complex in Yanbu on May 1, which killed five Western engineers from ABB
Lummus. The ministry has deployed troops and established checkpoints on
roads to critical sites in Yanbu as well as other cities.
"Our country will remain strong in the face of destruction and
terrorism," Saudi Deputy National Guard Commander Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah
told Western nationals. "The security situation is extremely satisfactory.
Your protection is the responsibility of all people in this country."
Despite the increased security, Western nationals in the oil sector were
leaving Saudi Arabia. They included more than 100 employees and dependents
from ABB Lummus. Other U.S. companies operating in Yanbu were also sending
employees home in wake of the Al Qaida attack.