ABU DHABI ø Saudi Arabia has asserted that authorities have foiled
the lion's share of Al Qaida operations.
Officials said that over the last three months Al Qaida has been unable
to launch a major attack against Western or Saudi interests in the kingdom.
They said a series of cells have been captured throughout the country.
Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz said authorities
have foiled 95 percent of what he termed terrorist operations in the
kingdom. Nayef said five percent of Al Qaida operations have been
"I can say, confidently, that what happened does not exceed five or six
percent of what was foiled," Nayef said in a reception to tribal leaders on
Aug. 28. "Numerous, more severe events were about to take place, using
stronger explosives. But security men uncovered and foiled them."
Officials said the success of Saudi forces reflects increased training
and the use of advanced systems to track and capture Al Qaida insurgents.
They said these include the operation of a new command and control center
that processes and distributes information on the movement of insurgents to
police and security forces.
Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz said authorities
have captured the key members of the Al Qaida network in the kingdom.
Abdullah said the remaining insurgents were now being sought.
One of the leading Al Qaida insurgents was said to have been captured in
April and later died in custody. He was identified as Muhsan Al Sihan,
responsible for Al Qaida attacks in Riyad in 2003 and early 2004 and
regarded as No. 2 in the insurgency network.
"WeÕll finish off all those who dare to tamper with our security and
stability," Abdullah said on Aug. 30. "We will not show any leniency in this
Officials said authorities killed an Al Qaida insurgent and captured
four others in a raid in eastern Saudi Arabia. Earlier, security forces
captured three Al Qaida operatives, including a Pakistani national, in Al
Ahsa. They said the operatives arrested over the last three days were not on
the Interior Ministry's list of 26 top fugitives.
Still, Western diplomats and nationals continue to come under attack in
Saudi Arabia. On Aug. 30, a car belonging to the U.S. consulate in Jedda
came under small-arms fire. Nobody was injured.