Terrorism: May 8, 2003

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An al Qaeda organization in Saudi Arabia was discovered and is being pursued. Some members of the 19 man group were under surveillance as suspects in an earlier (March) bombing that killed a Saudi citizen. While the United States is unpopular in Saudi Arabia, so is Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Bin Laden is seen as a madman who is willing to destroy Saudi Arabia in order to "save it." 

So far, police have captured two of the al Qaeda groups cars and raided one of their safe houses. In one car, police found 55 grenades, 295 rounds of ammunition, identity and travel documents and $73,000 in cash. The safe house contained 829 pounds of explosives, four AK-47s, over 4,000 rounds of ammo and two way radios. A car near the safe house had three AK-47s, wigs and other material for disguises. Two of the 19 suspects were not Saudis. One was a Yemeni, the other an Iraqi with Kuwaiti-Canadian citizenship. Several of these men had trained in al Qaeda's Afghanistan camps. 

Al Qaeda has made statements about how it is planning additional major attacks in the United States, but the reality is that it's network of technical experts, training camps and organizers has been severely disrupted. Al Qaeda is having a hard time maintaining teams in Moslem nations, most of which feel threatened by al Qaeda as well. The only nation that provides a safe refuge for al Qaeda is Iran, which provides secure camps in Lebanon as well as Iran. Iran's neighbors complain to Iran about this, but the al Qaeda support comes from Iranian Islamic conservatives who, by law, are above the law in matters like this.

 

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