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El ataque de Al Qaeda en Arabia Saudita

Posted by Spanish Eowyn en 28/febrero/2006

Via Gateway Pundit, tenemos conocimiento de una magnífica retrospectiva sobre Al-Qaeda en la penísula arábiga de Athena del blog Terrorism Unveiled que transcribo en su integridad por su importancia:

(Updated 2/27/06) Saudi security forces have foiled an apparant suicide car bomb attack on a major oil production facility in Abqaiq (45 miles southwest of Damman, also known as Buqayq), according to BBC News. The cars carried the logo for Aramco, which is headquartered in nearby Dhahran.

Author and former CIA operative Robert Baer, who seems ubiquitous these days, pointed out in his book “Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold our Soul for Saudi Crude”, that Abqaiq is the “Godzilla of oil-processing facilities”. In his first chapter, in which he outlines a study done based on a doomsday scenario attack against Saudi oil facilities, he states:
Almost to a person, the disaster planners concluded that the Abqaiq extralight crude complex was both the most vulnerable point of the Saudi oil system and its most spectacular target . . . Generally, the study groups posited a multiprong attack on Abqaiq.”
Robert Baer is generally a little too alarmist for my tastes, and I doubt al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is capable of blowing up the entire Saudi oil infrastructure. However, as we all know, even the slightest hint of an attack on Saudi oil is capable of shifting the price and playing havoc on the oil economy.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (often referred to as Saudi al-Qaida) has long threatened attacks on Saudi oil installations. In addition, al-Qaida senior leadership has a historic interest in attacking targets in the peninsula and calling for attacks against oil facilities.
BBC points out, in particular, that:
Last September al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri called for attacks on oil facilities, saying oil revenues went to what he called “the enemies of Islam”.
The culprits are almost definitely members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, although this does not rule out some support from senior leadership. Any support from al-Qaida senior leadership, however, was likely across-the-board financial or logistical support for attacks within Saudi Arabia, as opposed to specific attention being paid to a possible attack in Abqaiq. Gone are the days of Abd al-Rahman al-Nashiri (USS Cole mastermind in US custody), who was considered leader of al-Qaida in the Peninsula and also a senior member of al-Qaida. The attack on the USS Cole is an example in itself – carried out by Peninsula al-Qaida members but centrally planned and directed. Such is not the case for attacks on the Peninsula today.
Dammam has obviously been on the Saudi al-Qaida radar before; just one example is a surveillance incident (or even possible foiled attack) in Dammam in July 2004 reported by Evan Kohlmann. Previous attacks against oil targets in Saudi Arabia include two May 2004 attacks, on on the western coast city of Yanbu, and one in al-Khobar in the east. However, neither were directly against oil infrastructure and instead against oil workers.
As for recent plotting, a possible Saudi al-Qaida cell was disrupted on September 6, 2005 in ad Dammam during a 48-hour shootout with Saudi security forces. Four of the five killed were on the Saudis’ Top 36 Be-On-The-Lookout (BOLO) list. Documents captured in the raid included forged passes to enter restricted locations. It is, of course, not certain that all members of this “Dammam cell” were killed, and it is possible that this foiled attack was related to their activities.
Recent terrorism-related incidents in Saudi Arabia includes also the discovery of a
bomb-making factory in Riyadh in January.
After the September 6 shootout in Dammam, one of the dead cell members’ brothers posted a voice message on the Web claiming the incident was exaggerated by authorities. He also, according to Newsweek, thanked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi “for his support”. It would not surprise me if al-Zarqawi has been taking an active role in supporting Saudi al-Qaida and/or sending some of his Iraq fighters back home for attack planning, particularly against oil targets. I mentioned earlier that it is unlikely that al-Qaida senior leadership would direct and/or plan an attack in the Peninsula, but it is not out of the question for al-Zarqawi to do so. In January I wrote about al-Zarqawi’s external operations:
Although operations in the Levant are of high interest to al-Zarqawi, the Arabian Peninsula is closer, physically and perhaps in terms of terrorist linkages. Many fighters in Iraq are from the Arabian Peninsula, thus providing good recruits for operations in those countries. In addition, in March 2005, al-Zarqawi wrote a letter on a jihadist message board praising the ‘brothers’ in the Peninsula, followed two days later by a series of 5 audiotapes by then-leader of Saudi al-Qaida, Salih al-Awfi (now deceased), one in which he likewise sent praise to al-Zarqawi and al-Qaida in Iraq.
I wouldn’t doubt that al-Zarqawi has many tentacles reaching into the Peninsula.
I don’t have al-Zarqawi’s message to the Peninsula brothers with me, but I do believe it mentioned attacking oil targets.
Update: The Counterterrorism Blog is also following this story.
Update 2:
Apparently, Saudi al-Qaida has claimed responsibility. (Thanks to Suitably Flip for the heads up). Evan Kohlman has more info over on The Counterterrorism Blog.
Update 3:
Saudi security forces battled five suspected militants tied to the oil facility attack on Monday morning in the al-Yarmuk quarter of Riyadh. The shootout lasted for an hour and resulted in the militants’ death. The five men also were on the Saudi Top 36 BOLO list. They were holed up in a house with a cache of explosives.
In January, I linked to the LA Times article about Saudi efforts in combating terrorism. Read my thoughts here.

Gateway Pundit añade además que Al-Qaeda ha amenazado a Arabia Saudí con más ataques.

UPDATE/ACTUALIZACIÓN: Podeis ver también el post que le dedica The Religious Policeman.

2 comentarios para “El ataque de Al Qaeda en Arabia Saudita”

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