Al Qaida fugitive found dead in Saudi desert

Sunday, February 8, 2004

ABU DHABI Saudi Arabia has reported the death of a leading Al Qaida fugitive.

Saudi security forces found the body of Amr Mohsen Al Zaydan Al Shihri, one of the top 26 Al Qaida fugitives sought by the kingdom. Al Shihri was listed No. 23 and was wanted for unspecified attacks over the last year.

Saudi authorities were said to have found Al Shihri's body in a desert about 30 kilometers north of Riyad. Al Shihri joined Al Qaida from the kingdom's religious police, regarded as a major source of recruits for the organization.

Over the weekend, the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya satellite channel broadcast a video that purportedly showed Al Qaida insurgents preparing for the suicide strike against the Al Muhaya compound in Riyad in which 18 people were killed in November 2003. The video came from a 90-minute tape released on an Al Qaida-aligned website that showed the insurgents training and assembling explosives.

The faces of all but two of the Al Qaida insurgents all of whom identified as Saudi nationals shown on the video were not shown. The two whose faces were shown were those of the purported suicide attackers.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia appointed a new deputy intelligence chief. The appointee decreed by Saudi King Fahd was identified as Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Bander Bin Abdul Aziz.

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