RealNews

Qaeda Beheads American in Saudi Then Chief Killed

Al Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia beheaded American hostage Paul Johnson Friday and their leader was then killed in a shootout with security forces as he tried to dispose of the body, Saudi officials said. Abdulaziz al-Muqrin’s Islamist group displayed photographs of the 49-year-old aviation engineer’s severed head on a Web site. Shortly afterwards, as Muqrin and two other top militants deposited the body in the capital Riyadh, they were surrounded by Saudi security men and gunned down, a security source said. Muqrin, a young man driven by revenge and hatred for the United States and its Arab allies, was Saudi Arabia’s most wanted al Qaeda leader. His death will be portrayed as a major blow to Saudi-born Osama bin Laden by the kingdom’s rulers, once chided by their U.S. allies as being soft on terrorism. Johnson was the third American killed in Riyadh in the past 10 days, stepping up pressure on thousands of U.S. citizens and other foreigners vital to the economy of the world’s biggest oil exporter and on the Saudi royal family, which bin Laden has sworn to overthrow for its close alliance with Washington. Full Story

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