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Report: al Qaida may sabotage Saudi oil

Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida network is seeking volunteers for attacks on Saudi and Kuwaiti oil fields in the event of a U.S.-led war on Iraq, the Washington Times reported Tuesday. U.S. intelligence officials who spoke on condition of anonymity told the newspaper there were few details on the attempt to recruit militants in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, but details of the move were derived from sensitive information obtained in the past week. Both nations have strong pockets of support for radical Islamist groups such as al Qaida. Fifteen of the 19 Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers were Saudi nationals. The Times said intelligence officials viewed the development as a new attempt by al Qaida, which is believed to be behind Sept. 11, to conduct economic terrorism. An attack on oil fields would severely affect the flow of oil from the region. Saudi Arabia holds about one-fourth of the world’s crude oil reserves; Kuwait has about 10 percent. U.S. officials told the newspaper the wells are well protected but were susceptible to attacks by vehicles or groups of militants. Full Story

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