From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I see John R. Bradley, late of Arab News, has his own webpage and an article in the latest Al-Ahram. He continues to paint a rather troubling portrait of the Saudi regime:

It was the third major attack on foreigners in the country. Saudi authorities have responded by saying they will crush terrorists. More than 50 died and hundreds were injured last year when Western-style compounds in Riyadh were bombed by Al-Qa'eda operatives. One of the attackers killed in the Yanbu violence was Abdullah Saud Abu Nayan Al-Sobaie -- No.10 on a list of the kingdom's 26 most-wanted terrorists. Jamal Khashoggi, adviser to the Saudi ambassador in London, said the gunmen were two brothers and their two uncles, all members of a local family.

This may be the first instance of militants having successfully attacked an oil installation, but there has long been evidence that terrorists have infiltrated the ranks of Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company. US intelligence alerted officials in the summer of 2002 that they had intercepted conversations about sabotage among company employees. As a result, Al- Qa'eda sympathisers who tried to blow up Ras Tanura oil terminal were arrested.

Al-Qa'eda has also infiltrated Saudi Arabia's military and security forces at the highest level, including those entrusted with the protection of Western residential compounds, American intelligence officials said after last year's 12 May Riyadh bombings. Worryingly, Yanbu residents said it took more than 90 minutes from the time they sounded the alert for security forces to finally engage the militants. The gunmen also fired on a McDonald's outlet and threw a pipe bomb at an international school.

"I think this attack signals a change in tactics. The civil war is now on in Saudi Arabia, that's for sure," prominent Saudi columnist Mohamed T Al-Rasheed told the Weekly.

I guess these folks didn’t get the message from the Saudi Crown Prince that Zionists were behind the attack.

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