RealNews

Saudi Arabia tightens security around oil installations

With war threatening in Iraq, Saudi authorities have increased security at the already heavily guarded oil installations that are the kingdom’s economic lifeblood and a crucial supplier to the world. But the government is not worried so much about spillover from fighting in Iraq. It is looking to the threat from the followers of Osama bin Laden, the exiled Saudi terrorist leader who exhorts his followers to create economic chaos and destabilize the kingdom. Last summer, Saudi officials arrested al-Qaida sympathizers who tried to blow up the Ras Tanura oil terminal and refinery and the pipelines that serve them. U.S. officials who reported the arrests in October said documents recovered during the war in Afghanistan suggested al-Qaida was planning strikes on oil interests here. “There is concern that there will be similar attempts in the next couple of months,” said Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief. “There’s a lot of buzz about the possibility of attacks against Saudi infrastructure by al-Qaida.” Full Story

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