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May 30, 2004

Dance With the Debbil...

...and reap what you sow.

May 30, 2004

TERRORISM: Al Qaeda, Saudi Arabia and the Impossible Dream

May 30, 2004: In the last 24 hours, Saudi Arabia underwent another dramatic al Qaeda attack. At least seven terrorists attacked the upscale Oasis housing compound in Khobar, an eastern town at the Saudi end of the causeway to the island nation of Bahrain, 25 kilometers offshore. After Saudi police commandos raided the building the surviving terrorists, along with dozens of hostages, had taken refuge in, it was discovered that at least sixteen people died (including two Saudi security guards, seven Saudi civilians, a 10-year-old Egyptian boy, an American, a Briton, a Pakistani and a Filipino, and at least two of the terrorists.) The al-Qaeda raiders had slit the throats of nine of their 25 hostages.

Earlier, the raiders had gone through the compound demanding that Arabs tell them, "where the infidels are." At least two of the terrorists were captured by the Saudi commandoes.

The terrorists are trying to force all non-Moslems from the kingdom.

This attack is the second one in May. Even with these attacks, the overall danger to most of the expatriate workers is lower than the risk of being a
crime victim in their home countries. So far, most of the expatriates realize that, and just accept the higher, terrorist created, "crime rate" in Saudi Arabia. The American embassy, however, has been telling all Americans to leave Saudi Arabia. This is because it would be politically embarrassing for the State Department back in the United States if it did otherwise. Naturally, most Americans will stay in Saudi Arabia, and the State Department will feel itself free of most responsibility, because the Americans were warned to leave.

The deaths of so many Saudis, and Moslems from other countries (especially the Egyptian boy, whose father worked locally), has increased the popular outrage against al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. What worries the government, however, is that 5-10 percent of the population that supports al Qaeda and enables the terrorists to recruit and operate in the kingdom. This is not the first time the Islamic radical minority in Saudi Arabia has exploded in violence. It happened in the late 1970s, and in the 1930s. Each time, the Saud family put down the violence with greater violence. It's happening again, except this time there is a worldwide Islamic radical movement underway as well. Al Qaeda began among the Islamic radicals in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Moslem nations. Al Qaedas goals of driving all non-Moslems from the Middle East and eventually converting the world to Islam, are impossible to achieve. But the true believers don't know that. They are willing to die for the cause and that will continue until, as has happened so many times in the past, a new generation comes along, notes the futility of the al Qaeda violence, and falls in love with
another solution.

Hat tip: Strategy Page.