Friday, August 28, 2009

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Claims Suicide Bomb Attack on Prince Mohammed bin Nayef of Saudi Arabia

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Claims Suicide Bomb Attack on Prince Mohammed bin Nayef of Saudi Arabia.

JEDDAH (Reuters) - A suicide bomber failed in his attempt to kill the prince who heads Saudi Arabia's anti-terrorism campaign, the first attack on a member of the royal family since the start of a wave of violence by al Qaeda six years ago.
Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the deputy interior minister and son of the man thought likely to be the next crown prince, was meeting well-wishers on Thursday when a man blew himself up, a ministry spokesman said. The prince was not seriously hurt.

"The attack indicates that the threat is out there waiting to happen -- sometimes at closer range than you would think," said one Western diplomat in Saudi, who declined to be named.

"The royals will have plenty of reasons to worry in a country where weapons apparently find easy entry from porous borders to the north from Iraq or the south from Yemen."

As security chief, Prince Mohammed is one of the most powerful men in the kingdom and is credited with the government's success in crushing the violence.
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest petroleum exporter and a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, was forced to confront its own role in rising militancy at home and abroad when its nationals turned out to be behind the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The mastermind of those attacks, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was born in Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Saudi arm of the group, claimed responsibility for Thursday's bombing attempt, according to a message posted on Islamist internet forums. What is new is the fact that it targeted a royal, not anyone, but literally the kingdom's security tsar." Al Arabiya television showed Prince Mohammed, apparently slightly injured, meeting King Abdullah after the attack.

"This will only increase our determination to eradicate this (militancy)," said Prince Mohammed, who is the son of Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, recently named second deputy crown prince. Earlier this month, Saudi authorities announced the arrest of 44 militants close to al Qaeda and the seizure of explosives, detonators and firearms Continued...