Saudis bust seven terror cells, arrest 172

posted at 10:16 am on April 27, 2007 by Allahpundit

I’ve read the AP, BBC, and Reuters reports on this story and nowhere does it say the cells were linked, so this may have been a sort of “Five Families” operation to hit a bunch of different people simultaneously while their guard was down. Come to think of it, none of them specify when the arrests were made, either. It could be that they’ve been busting people continuously over the past six months and only chose to go public today.

172 people, though. That’s a lotta jihad. From Reuters:

Saudi Arabia has arrested more than 170 suspected al Qaeda-linked militants, some of whom were training as pilots to carry out suicide attacks on oil facilities in the kingdom, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

The ministry, in a statement read on state television, also said police seized weapons and more than 20 million riyals ($5.33 million) in cash, from what Al Arabiya television said were seven armed militant cells.

“Some had begun training on the use of weapons, and some were sent to other countries to study aviation in preparation to use them to carry out terrorist operations inside the kingdom,” the statement said.

“One of their main targets was to carry out suicide attacks against public figures and oil installations and to target military bases inside and outside (the country),” it added.

It said the suspects, mostly Saudis, had been “influenced by the deviant ideology,” a reference frequently used by Saudi officials to refer to al Qaeda.

The Beeb also cites the $5.33 million figure but the AP goes a tad higher. They say it was $32 million.

Just thinking out loud here — just “airing” a theory, as our pal Sully might say — but most of the Saudi oil fields are in areas populated by the country’s Shiite minority. If Iran’s worried about a U.S. or Israeli attack and looking to lash back at the Sunnis, Saudi oil would be a prime target, with some of the local Shiites perhaps being willing to shelter Iranian saboteurs who have already infiltrated the area. The Beeb and the AP note Al Qaeda’s jihad against the Saudis but notably don’t draw the inference Reuters did about which group was meant by the reference to “the deviant ideology.” It’s worth keeping an eye on this to see if any news trickles out about some of the suspects being Shiite or linked to Hezbollah.

Exit question: So, when do they let them all go?

Update: The Saudi Interior Ministry says “some” were linked to Al Qaeda. And adds that not all of the military targets were inside Saudi Arabia.


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DAMN!!! If only we would have surrendered weeks ago!

csdeven on April 27, 2007 at 10:29 AM

I hope they, the Saudis, didn’t do anything to lose the moral high ground, You know like wiretapping or profiling. I am sure CAIR is on it and we have a battalion of ACLU lawyers warming up their jets to head over there.
Just leave the Bible at home!

LakeRuins on April 27, 2007 at 10:34 AM

I’m tired of this war. Too many shadowy plots.

We should pass a law or something to make it stop.

a4g on April 27, 2007 at 10:37 AM

172 less donors to the democrat party. This is a huge financial hit for them. I guess they’ll be calling on Jonny Chung, Charlie Trie, the Riadys etc. And where has Marc and Denise Rich been lately?

roninacreage on April 27, 2007 at 10:37 AM

So, Captain Frankensteinazziz has arrested his own monster, eh? Nice work Cap, next time try NOT CREATING MONSTERS IN THE FIRST PLACE!

In other news, Micheal Jackson is declared a hero for saving his baby who was dangeling from a window. Way to go Mike!

Tony737 on April 27, 2007 at 10:50 AM

Exit Answer: Allah, I don’t think it’s going to be as easy to “lose” 172 terrorists.

amerpundit on April 27, 2007 at 10:51 AM

If the Royals were taken down, guess who would be the new leader of Saudi?

drjohn on April 27, 2007 at 10:51 AM

Although all the above are great, this is good news. Less Jihadi’s, and we all know the Kingdom isn’t exactly squeamish about human rights or the lack thereof. I’m sure said Jihadi’s are wishing they were in Gitmo.

On the other hand, how long do they stay caught? Who knows?

Vanceone on April 27, 2007 at 10:53 AM

If the Royals were taken down, guess who would be the new publicly recognized leader of Saudi?

drjohn on April 27, 2007 at 10:51 AM

It wouldn’t be a new leader.

LakeRuins on April 27, 2007 at 10:55 AM

Speakin’ of Saudi Arabia, I read on Lucianne yesterday that the Saudi’s were actually having BEAUTY CONTEST! Can ya believe that?! Yeah, too bad it was a CAMEL beauty contest! I kid you not! That’s great, make your women cover up from head to toe in black when it’s 120 in the shade, and then have a most beautiful CAMEL contest!

Tony737 on April 27, 2007 at 10:56 AM

That is a big sweep.

Ouabam on April 27, 2007 at 11:00 AM

If the Royals were taken down, guess who would be the new publicly recognized leader of Saudi?

drjohn on April 27, 2007 at 10:51 AM

It wouldn’t be a new leader.

Precisely.

drjohn on April 27, 2007 at 11:05 AM

Exit question: So, when do they let them all go?

I don’t think that will happen this time. The Royal family’s hold on power is not ironclad. To be fair they have been cleaning up smaller operations that don’t get this kind of press. An operation of this size means they must have had some operatives on the inside – that in itself would be a huge improvement. Most of the guys caught won’t see too many more Ramadans in my opinion. Appeal processes in Saudi are a little more streamlined than in the US.

Bradky on April 27, 2007 at 11:05 AM

How does the Pelosi Loser Group minimize this one????

Let us count the ways.

shooter on April 27, 2007 at 11:19 AM

“The Kingdom”. Is that Saudisville or Disney?

They probably had to let them go since the dungeons are filled with Christians and women caught behind the wheel.

Hening on April 27, 2007 at 11:30 AM

It said the suspects, mostly Saudis, had been “influenced by the deviant ideology,” a reference frequently used by Saudi officials to refer to al Qaeda.

What’s deviant about al Qaeda’s ideology? It’s orthodox Islam, and they know it.

PRCalDude on April 27, 2007 at 11:34 AM

PRCalDude on April 27, 2007 at 11:34 AM

Most of the things I read about radical Islam say around 20% are radicals. Yes, this means some 200 million believers and should be a real concern. On the other hand it also means over 800 million who don’t subscribe to the radical ideology.

If the Saudis are doing a little finessing of the language to maintain the support of that 80% group it is understandable. Results are what matters and they have been delivering results since 2001, thanks to the Bush team’s efforts.

Bradky on April 27, 2007 at 11:40 AM

May I just suggest that we CEASE ALL ALL ALL Joint Military Training with the Saudis?

seejanemom on April 27, 2007 at 11:49 AM

Terrorists rounding up other terrorists.

Gotta love it.

profitsbeard on April 27, 2007 at 12:05 PM

Call me when the Saudis imprison themselves. After all, Islam is the terrorist cell.

Tim Burton on April 27, 2007 at 12:05 PM

So, they caught them and seized the money they gave them in the first place. Do they give them back the money again when they are released?

kcluva on April 27, 2007 at 12:37 PM

Bradky on April 27, 2007 at 11:40 AM

Way off. There’s about 20% that will actually participate in a jihad. Jihadists move freely in Islamic societies because the other 80% know that jihad is Islamic and they support it with the 2.5% Islamic tax (zakat). Also, you’re assuming that the Saudis who ‘finessing’ the language to maintain support for this mythical 80% that don’t believe in violence are themselves not supporters of jihad. Really, the Saudis just want to maintain control over the oil resources that allow them to fund jihad, travel to Morocco to have sex with all the women and boys they can afford, and otherwise maintain the
status quo
.

PRCalDude on April 27, 2007 at 12:39 PM

This might have been the attack that was going to topple “the throne of Rome” which might have been a metaphor for the Saudi throne. I had suspected that was the case anyway. I figured it was either the Saudi throne or the Holy See.

crosspatch on April 27, 2007 at 12:54 PM

PRCalDude on April 27, 2007 at 12:39 PM

What exactly do you suggest they do? If they aren’t careful they lose whatever ground they may have gained and risk being overthrown. As Bush has said repeatedly this is a “long war” and will require lots of finesse.

This is good news in any event and the Saudis should be applauded for it.

The 80% is not mythical and it is certainly a good thing they don’t want to participate in the jihad.
Taxes, as you know, are something we sometimes have no control or say over, we just see them taken out of our checks.

Bradky on April 27, 2007 at 12:55 PM

What exactly do you suggest they do? If they aren’t careful they lose whatever ground they may have gained and risk being overthrown. As Bush has said repeatedly this is a “long war” and will require lots of finesse.

If I were in their situation, I would do the same thing: try to maintain power. Unfortunately for them, less and less oil money is being spread amongst more and more members of the royal family. The size of the royal family is up to about 150,000 now, and your average Saudi prince has about 30 sons. You can do the math yourself. They’re kept in power by paying off the jihadists. If there’s less money to do that, they’re only buying themselves a little time by arresting these guys. It’s going to collapse eventually, and rather quickly depending on which stories you believe about water injection into Saudi oil wells.

The 80% that we’ve discussed acquiesces. That’s like being a member of the Nazi party, but not actually running a death camp. The 2.5% of the incomes of 1.2 billion people is a lot of money for jihad.

PRCalDude on April 27, 2007 at 1:10 PM

PRCalDude on April 27, 2007 at 1:10 PM

All the more reason for us to become energy independent.

But these are the cards that have been dealt and we have to work with them the best we can. The Saudis that are working with us do so at great risk in many cases and I’m sure appreciate the moral support.

Bradky on April 27, 2007 at 1:16 PM

But these are the cards that have been dealt and we have to work with them the best we can. The Saudis that are working with us do so at great risk in many cases and I’m sure appreciate the moral support.

Bradky on April 27, 2007 at 1:16 PM

At great risk? They’re molding the entire Islamic world into their image. The reason we’re seeing this current global jihad is because of Saudi Islam being spread throughout the world. They’re also doing the same thing with the Muslims in the U.S. and are trying to mold our country into an Islamic state. Don’t take my word for it, buy the book and read it.

PRCalDude on April 27, 2007 at 1:19 PM

PRCalDude on April 27, 2007 at 1:19 PM

We are going to just have to agree to disagree on degrees.

Bradky on April 27, 2007 at 1:58 PM

How hard is it to catch Islamic terrorists in Saudi Arabia? I’m thinking it’s about as hard as catching ants at a picnic. All the Saudis have to do to nab terrorists is wait for them to pick up their paychecks at the Ministry of Jihad.

Tantor on April 27, 2007 at 4:13 PM

Sure glad halliburtan is building those internment camps in the US.

sonnyspats1 on April 27, 2007 at 7:41 PM

Shouldn’t the price of oil gone up BEFORE they got these guys?

What am I missing?

drjohn on April 27, 2007 at 9:20 PM