View Full Version : Thwarted Saudi Militant Plot Mirrored 9/11 Attacks

04-28-2007, 08:38 PM
Thwarted Saudi militant plot mirrored 9/11 attacks
Saudi official says some attackers 'could have been trained as pilots in Iraq, Somalia or Pakistan'


(Gold9472: What I find interesting about this is the fact that they aren't providing any information about how they know any of this.)


RIYADH: Al Qaeda-linked plotters hoped to reproduce the Sept 11, 2001 attacks by planning to dispatch suicide pilots to military bases and launching attacks on the oil refineries that drive the economy of Osama bin Laden's homeland, Saudi Arabian officials said Saturday.

Revealing new details of the purported plot, a government spokesman said some of the 172 attackers trained as pilots in an unidentified 'troubled country' nearby, hoping to use the planes to carry out suicide attacks.

The spokesman, Maj Gen Mansour al-Turki, would not say where the training took place: "It could be Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, there are so many troubled regions in the world. I can't specify."

The militants allegedly wanted to use planes "like car bombs ... to use the aircraft as a tool to carry out suicide operations," al-Turki told The Associated Press by phone from this capital city.

Targets included Saudi military bases that militants had no other way of reaching but by blowing up an aircraft, he said.

"The last group (we) rounded up are carriers of Al Qaeda ideology, working on achieving Al Qaeda goals, which is to take over the society," al-Turki said.

The monthslong roundup of alleged Islamic militants from seven terror cells was one of the biggest terror sweeps since Saudi leaders began an unrelenting offensive against extremists after militants attacked foreigners and others involved in the country's oil industry seeking to topple the monarchy for its alliance with the US.

But analysts say Al Qaeda followers are determined to stay active in Saudi Arabia.

"This is the heart of Islam, the birthplace of Islam. Saudi Arabia has a huge psychological value for Al Qaeda. Despite the crackdown, Al Qaeda will keep trying to establish itself in Saudi Arabia," said Mustafa Alani, director of security and terrorism studies at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center.

Along with the planned suicide attacks, authorities said the latest arrests also thwarted plots to mount air attacks on the kingdom's oil refineries, break militants out of prison and send suicide attackers to kill government officials. The Interior Ministry also said some targets were outside the country, which it did not identify.

Al-Turki did not elaborate or specifically say those detained were Al Qaeda members, but his comments marked a rare mention of the terror network by Saudi officials, who customarily refer to the organisation as a "deviant group."

Militants have attacked foreigners living in Saudi Arabia and the country's oil industry, which has more than 260 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, a quarter of the world's total. Bin Laden also has urged such attacks to hurt the flow of oil to the West.

Saudi's ruling family has pursued an aggressive campaign against militants since the May 2003 suicide attack on three housing estates for foreigners in Riyadh. The kingdom's security forces have managed to kill or capture most of those on its list of the 26 most-wanted Al Qaeda loyalists in the country.

04-29-2007, 01:25 AM
(Gold9472: What I find interesting about this is the fact that they aren't providing any information about how they know any of this.)

You know that's a really good observation since the Saudi's usually provide the details and show footage on state tv.

Someone on MSNBC pointed out how this and the info about a captured al-Qaeda leader was released the day after the Democratic debate.