The ministry stated that the attack, reported at 1 a.m., was not
ordered by Al Qaida, Middle East Newsline reported. A spokesman said the attackers, identified as members
of the Zahrani family, were "under the influence of drugs."
"No citizens or members of the security forces were affected," the
ministry said later on Aug. 6.
This marked the first known assassination attempt on Nayef, second in
line to the throne and appointed deputy prime minister in 2009. Western
diplomats said Nayef has been running the Saudi kingdom since King Abdullah
fell ill in 2010.
"The event is still under investigation," the ministry said.
Nayef and his son, deputy minister Prince Mohammed, have overseen Saudi
Arabia's counter-insurgency program. In 2009, Mohammed survived an Al Qaida
suicide bombing in his home.
Western diplomats have reported a rising threat from Al Qaida in the
Arabian Peninsula against the Saudi kingdom. On Aug. 5, the State Department
urged Americans to "carefully consider the risks of traveling to Saudi
"There is an ongoing security threat due to the continued presence of
terrorist groups, some affiliated with Al Qaida, who may target Western
interests, housing compounds, hotels, shopping areas, and other facilities
where Westerners congregate," the State Department said.