RealNews

Terror Cell Had Recent Gun Battle With Police

The Islamic militants behind the devastating car bombings in three residential compounds Monday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were part of an al Qaeda cell whose members fought a gun battle last week with Saudi authorities before escaping arrest, Saudi officials said today. At the time, police raided a suspected hideout, uncovering a weapons cache that included 55 hand grenades, 829 pounds of explosives and 2,545 bullets of different calibers. The May 6 raid took place at a safe house “several hundred yards from one of the buildings hit” by the triple bombing, a senior U.S. official said today. The cell was formed in the kingdom after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, officials said. It is led by Khaled Jehani, who left Saudi Arabia when he was 18, later fought in Bosnia and Chechnya and was based at al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, the officials added. Jehani, 29, assumed a leadership position in the cell after the capture last November of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, suspected of being instrumental in planning the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, the officials said. Al-Nashiri, al Qaeda’s former director of operations in the Persian Gulf, is in U.S. custody. Full Story

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