“…I’m assuming that you two haven’t met before?”
I think that the Saudi bombings could either lead to good things, or very, very bad things.
den Beste agrees, but doesn’t look at the bad things. I think that his assessment of the possible benefits that may come of it: the Saudis may wake up to the fact that they have a terrorist problem that they can’t blame on foriegners, and try to do something about it.
The first bad thing is very obvious: many people have died, probably upwards of 90, with hundreds being injured. The other bad things are less clear, but I’ll give a go at describing a couple of my thought on them.
First off, the terrorists were able to coordinate their strikes so that they hit four seperate targets within hours, and still got through security in all but one of them. And do it on the night that the US Secretary of State was arriving in Riyadh. This would seem to suggest that they are (or, in the case of the footsoldiers, were) competent, dedicated and had a fair amount of knowledge of their targets, including the interiors of the ‘secure’ compounds. Not a good thing.
Secondly, the BBC claims that the terrorists may have had help from within the Saudi security system:
Was there any warning of this?
There was some intelligence. On 1 May the US State Department warned all Americans not to travel to Saudi Arabia unless absolutely necessary.
They said that intelligence groups are planning attacks and were in the final phase. Just one week later the Saudis had a big gun battle in Riyadh and discovered a cache of weapons and explosives.
They recovered 400 kilos of high explosives. They had a shoot out with 19 people. They had photographs of all these people and yet they didn’t catch a single one.
It makes me think that there were people on the inside of the Interior Ministry who were giving a tip off to the terrorists.
Which would suggest that the security services within Saudi Arabia may not be 100% committed to trying to wipe out these terrorists.
Thirdly, some people were worried that the war in Iraq may provide the spark to overthrow the House of Saud and replace it with a total theocracy. If those within the government who would like to see this become emboldened by this strike, then this may be one step closer to comming true. How do you make a state with one of the worst human-rights records in the world worse? Simple, let some extremist Wahhabist nutjob take over.
Anyway, thats my two cents. Hope they were informative.