Al-Qaida vows attacks after Saudi oil raid
(Associated Press )
Updated: 2006-02-26 11:01
Al-Qaida on Saturday vowed more attacks a day after an attempt to bomb the
world's biggest oil processing complex showed the group still can strike inside
Saudi Arabia despite the arrests of hundreds of suspects.
Saudi security men stand at the entrance of
the oil processing plant of the state oil giant Aramco in Abqaiq, in the
oil-rich Eastern Province. The Saudi branch of the Al-Qaeda network vowed
to carry out more attacks on Saudi oil installations, according to an
Internet statement posted. [AFP]
A strike on the Abqaiq complex, near Saudi Arabia's eastern Persian Gulf
coast, could have been devastating. Nearly two-thirds of the country's oil flows
through the facility for processing before export.
Foiling the attack demonstrated Saudi Arabia's success in putting tough
security around the oil industry, the source of the royal family's wealth, oil
Two suicide bombers in explosives-packed cars traded fire with police at a
checkpoint before a gate in the first of three fences around the sprawling,
heavily guarded complex. One bomber collided with the closed gate, exploding and
blowing a hole in the fence, a senior Saudi security official said.
The second bomber drove through the hole before police opened fire,
detonating his car, the official added on condition of anonymity because of the
sensitivity of the issue.
Witnesses on Friday reported that security forces traded fire with gunmen
outside the facility after the explosions and that a hunt for attackers
continued for hours. Saudi officials have not reported the capture of any
At least two attackers and two security guards were killed, the state news
agency reported. Eight foreign workers at the facility ¡ª all from South Asia ¡ª
were wounded, a former Aramco employee told The Associated Press on condition of
anonymity. Aramco is the state oil company that owns the facility.
It was the first attack on Saudi Arabia's vital oil infrastructure. The Saudi
branch of al-Qaida, which claimed the attack, warned in an Internet statement
Saturday that suicide bombers will target more oil facilities.
"There are more like them who are racing toward martyrdom and eager to fight
the enemies of God," the posting said. "You will see things that will make you
happy, God willing."
In a later statement, the group said it carried out the attack "based on the
instructions of our leader, Osama bin Laden" and identified the two slain
suicide bombers as Abdullah Abdul-Aziz al-Tweijri and Mohammed Saleh al-Gheith.
It denied that the bombing was foiled and gave its own account of the attack.
It claimed that Al-Qaida fighters overcame guards at the gate, killing three and
forcing others to flee. The fighters then opened the gate for a car that entered
and blew up, it said, without specifying what the blast targeted.