Saudi Bust Foiled Major al-Qaeda Attack

Saudi Arabia's arrest of 172 terrorists is turning out to be a major coup. This from

The Arab News;
The Al-Qaeda network had plans to carry out massive terrorist operations in the scale of 9/11 attacks targeting oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, according to captured militants whose confessions were published in the local media yesterday.

Abdullah Al-Muqrin, one of the militants who were involved in planning the foiled attack on the Abqaiq oil refinery on Feb. 24, 2006, said militants, on the directives of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, carried out the suicide bombing. “Targeting the main oil facilities and areas, such as Ras Tanura and Jubail, was how the idea started,” said Muqrin in confessions aired by Saudi Television late Monday night.

Ras Tanura is the Kingdom’s biggest oil export terminal and Jubail is its biggest industrial complex. Both are located on the Gulf coast. Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil producer and exporter, supplying about seven million barrels per day.

“We started planning (the attack) but were told to wait for direct instructions from Osama Bin Laden. I asked how we would receive a signal from him; I thought he was in some mountains. They said it would take from six to seven months to get his approval,” Muqrin said.

Another suspect, identified as Khaled Al-Kurdi, said the Al-Qaeda leadership in Saudi Arabia told them that the attacks on oil facilities would be tantamount to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the US.

“They said it would be a huge operation, equal to the September strike ... and its impact would be on a global level,” Kurdi said in his statement. “They said attacks would affect oil prices,” he added.

Saudi security sources said the two men were involved in providing logistic help to the attackers who tried to storm the Abqaiq oil facility, in which two suicide bombers were killed. Saudi Arabia arrested about 170 suspects after the attacks.

The attack on oil installations was planned to lure US forces into the Kingdom. “It was all about luring in America to intervene, irrespective of the expected high loss of human life or economic damage,” Muqrin said.

The attackers sought “to hammer America,” Kurdi added.

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