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Attack tests Saudi security strategy

The daring daytime attack Monday on the fortresslike US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city, is calling into question one of the basic precepts of the country’s security strategy: that killing or capturing enough militants will eventually bring security back to the troubled kingdom. Instead, it seems to be evidence of the militants’ ability to regenerate quickly in the face of concerted government efforts to disrupt their networks, and then target some of the country’s most closely guarded installations. Recent Al Qaeda videotapes threatening assaults on US interests had seen Saudi Arabia beef up security.” It’s a surprise they were able to hit such a high-profile target. Clearly, someone took their eye off the ball,” says Turi Munthe, the head of the Middle East program at the Royal United Services Institute in London. “This is just one of the attacks that got through, but there have been lots of other attacks that haven’t gotten through. The problem is, while security gets better inside the country, [the militants] are getting better too.” The assault, which started at around 11 a.m., involved a team of militants with rifles and bombs who scaled a wall and fought their way into the US compound, though they failed to kill or capture any Americans. The US Embassy in Riyadh said all US diplomats and citizens were accounted for, and the Saudi Interior Ministry said four civilians and three attackers were killed, while two other militants were arrested. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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