RealNews

Terrorist Attacks In Saudi Arabia Spark Open Debate, Freer Press

A foiled terror plot on Islam’s holiest city and suicide bombings in the Saudi capital have shaken this deeply conservative kingdom, but at the same time produced positive side effects in sparking open debate and a freer press. Despite the firing last month of a prominent newspaper editor, the normally constrained Saudi press is back covering news with a frankness that did not exist before the May 12 Riyadh bombings that killed 34 people and the June 14 gun battles in Mecca that authorities say killed five terrorists and two policemen. Long regarded as secretive, the Saudi government has come under increasing pressure to open up and introduce social and political reforms. In particular, the United States has urged Saudi Arabia to do more to curb Islamic militancy following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that were blamed on Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida group and carried out by 19 plane hijackers – 15 of them Saudi. Full Story

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