DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 17, 2007
Foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal described as "ludicrous" some Israeli leaders' recent suggestions that they are open to discussing the plan - with certain reservations.
UN investigator Serge Brammertz arrives in Saudi Arabia.<br/>Earlier, <span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> reported Saudi-Iranian accord on Lebanon<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 11, 2007
King Abdullah has invited rival Lebanese politicians to Riyadh to hammer out a settlement. The political crisis in Beirut has paralyzed government since Hizballah and pro-Syrian factions launched a campaign to oust prime minister Fouad Siniora three months ago.
debkafile reports one of the issues on which the Saudi monarch and visiting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reached agreement Saturday, March 3, was the acceptance of an international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 9, 2007
Embassies in Riyadh have been warned the group blamed for last month's killing of four French expatriates touring historic sites could strike again.
Saudi Arabia reported Tuesday the arrest of suspects in the attack, gave two local nationals who got away to turn themselves in and offered a prize worth $1.9 m for information leading to their arrest. Al Qaeda has sworn to "purify" the kingdom of foreign crusaders.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 2, 2007
Al Qaeda attackers machine-gunned the men in a group of French expatriates who live and work in Riyadh and were touring historic sites in the western region of the oil kingdom.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Saudis to purchase nuclear option, advanced missiles and spy satellites off the shelf from Pakistan and Russia<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2007
Moscow will assist in Saudi development of a civilian nuclear program and build six "research satellites" for the oil kingdom. debkafile's Gulf intelligence sources report this was agreed in the Putin-Abdullah talks held in Riyadh earlier this week. Vladimir Putin and King Abdullah. Israeli military sources report that Moscow in fact undertook to provide Saudi Arabia with half a dozen military surveillance satellites, launch them and set up ground control centers. DEBKA-Net-Weekly's sources also revealed last month that Musharraf had contracted to make nuclear weapons available to Riyadh in a nuclear emergency.
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<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Al Qaeda's latest menace to America's oil sources embodies a plan to inflame Saudi Shiites against the Riyadh throne<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2007
In the February issue of Sawt al Jihad, the Saudi wing of the jihadist group calls for attacks on US oil suppliers in the Middle East, Canada, Venezuela and Mexico. In a separate article, al Qaeda reports preparations for "quality attacks to shake the foundations of the crusaders in the Arabian Peninsula."
The "Sheik Osama bin Laden's Companies," created for the new terror offensive, will launch attacks on the 3-4 million long-suppressed Saudi Shiites as a stratagem for igniting sectarian war in Saudi Arabia on the Iraq model in the oil regions of the kingdom.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Through the Mecca Accord, Riyadh aims to step into Tehran's shoes as Hamas' military-financial sponsor
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 15, 2007
The Palestinian Fatah-Hamas reconciliation summit in Mecca last week under the auspices of Saudi king Abdullah effaced the US-led international boycott of Hamas. The senior signers of the peace accord, Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, came away from their summit demoted in favor of Hamas PM Ismail Haniya and Abbas lieutenant Muhammed Dahlan. Hamas retained its most radical anti-Israel goals with King Abdullah's endorsement. Washington did not interfere.
Read more about the changes ushered in by the Mecca summit in debkafile's Exclusive Analysis below.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 11, 2007
It is no wonder that Israeli policy-makers have had little to say to the Palestinian reconciliation accord which Saudi king Abdullah brokered in Mecca last week. Israel was shouldered off the stage as a player in Palestinian politics, as was any hope of moderating the Palestinian anti-Israel war, a breakthrough to peace talks - or even a form of long-term coexistence.
Its main outcome was the anointing of Hamas as unconditional king of the Palestinian domain.
The Damascus-based hard-line Khaled Meshaal, who had signed a pact with Tehran, was demoted, as was the second signatory of the Palestinian reconciliation package, the moderate, pro-Western Mahmoud Abbas. Raised in their place was prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas' political wing. Abbas' ally, Gaza Strip Fatah commander Muhammad Dahlan, can expect a senior post in the Hamas-led government. Another winner is his business partner, the Palestinian-Kurdish tycoon Muhammad Rashid, who has turned his coat at least twice in two weeks while jostling to regain the influence he enjoyed behind the shoulder of the late Yasser Arafat who died in 2004.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2005
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How to save Syrian president Bashar Assad and his regime from toppling - or rather how to save him from himself? This was the main topic exercising Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah when they put their heads together in Riyadh Monday Oct. 3. They needed to talk urgently because the UN investigator of the Hariri assassination Detlev Mehlis reported to the UN secretary general Kofi Annan and the Security Council that he has finished his business in Damascus and would not be returning.
The clincher was obtained, according to debkafile's intelligence sources, in a Lebanese security forces swoop on the MTC Touch mobile phone company in Beirut Sept. 27. The officers copied data from eight telephone lines and took several employes away for questioning.
On September 23, DEBKA-Net-Weekly revealed:
The Saudi monarch is bidding for President George W. Bush to give the Syrian president another chance. He is offering a Saudi-Egyptian guarantee for Assad to live up to any obligations he may be persuaded to undertake.
ebanese security forces swoop on the MTC Touch mobile phone company in Beirut.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 1, 2005
Sultan's successor as next in line to the throne after Abdullah is certainly the subject of hot debate in the royal house. The Sudairis will see Sultan as seat-warmer for another Sudairi, his younger brother interior minister Prince Nayef, 72, who has won general praise, from Abdullah too, for his successful two-year crackdown on al Qaeda terrorists who have been preying on the kingdom and threatening the throne. The new Saudi king will most likely carry straight on with the foreign and oil policies he conducted in the last decade as de facto monarch. While oil prices shot up past $61 after Fahd died, they are likely to subside somewhat to their previous level quite quickly. Abdullah starts his reign with major assets, bonanza revenues from high oil prices and the understandings on oil and Middle East policies he established with US president George W. Bush at Crawford, Texas, in the spring of 2005.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 15, 2005
The Saudi Crown Prince promised President Bush lat month in Crawfored to pump up oil production from 10 barrels per day to 12.5 million short term and 15 million long term. He laid down his price for "opening a new chapter in US-Saudi strategic relations." One, Sharon must be pushed towards keeping step with Abbas and meeting his demands, to continue propping the Palestinian leader up and to do nothing that might hasten his downfall. Two, Sharon must be urged into serious negotiations with Syria. Three,The Bush administration must avoid any action that might topple Bashar Assad or bring about the demise of the Assad regime in Damascus. Neither Assad nor Syria must be humiliated any further.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 30, 2004
The night in Riyadh was torn Wednesday, December 29, by three huge explosions - not just the two officially confirmed. They were followed by long bursts of gunfire in northern and eastern Riyadh. debkafile's exclusive counter-terror sources reveal that the three car bomb blasts were part of an al Qaeda attempt on the life of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdelaziz, son of the Saudi interior minister, deputy minister and director of the ministry's security unit which runs the war on terror. This was the first attempt by Osama bin Laden's organization to assassinate a member of the Saudi royal family. It is a pivotal event in that it sharply escalates the terrorist offensive besetting the kingdom and raises the stakes on both sides.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 31, 2004
Saudi security has thrown up checkpoints and a dragnet for three of the al Qaeda terrorists who escaped during the helicopter-borne Saudi commando attack early Sunday, May 30, that ended the terrorist group's shooting, hostage-taking spree. The Saudi oil company Aramco pledged to continue smooth supplies of crude to avert further price hikes when the energy markets open Tuesday, June 1. To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click HERE. The Saudi interior ministry attempted to draw a line on the deadly attack at the heart of the kingdom's oil country by publishing figures - 41 hostages rescued from the Oasis residential building where 50-60 were held on the sixth floor, 22 officially reported killed, one terrorist captured and three escaped. Earlier, the Saudi figure for freed hostages was 25. All these measures were attempts at damage control. But none of the figures hang together.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 4, 2004
The world's largest oil producer was shaken Saturday, May 1, by the first terrorist strike against a joint US-Saudi oil venture, the co-owned Exxon-Mobil-SABIC oil refinery at the kingdom's main oil exporting outlet to the West at the Red Sea port of Yanbu 350 km northwest of Riyadh. At least five Western engineers - 2 Americans, 2 Britons and an Australian as well as a Saudi National Guards captain were killed and many more injured, including two Canadians. The Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Turki bin-Faisal, said the attack was carried out by Saudi members of the al Qaeda "cult", three of whom were gunned down by Saudi security forces and a fourth captured. The attack began just after dawn and raged until the afternoon, as the suicide killers, in Saudi National Guards uniforms, yelling "Jihad, Jihad!" careened around downtown Yanbu in a commandeered Saudi security vehicle and cars seized from private citizens.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 22, 2004
US-Saudi relations, uneven since 9/11, have hit a new low over a fresh bone of contention: a sharply-worded protest from Washington against the continued detention of 16 Saudi reform campaigners, half of them university professors and including a number of Shiite spokesmen. Their immediate release was demanded. debkafile's Washington and Middle East sources describe this action as the first direct protest to an Arab nation in the framework of President George W. Bush's initiative for spreading democratic reforms throughout the Greater Middle East. The protest was in effect an American jog to the Saudi elbow to speed up change. Riyadh's response was furious enough to have Secretary of State Colin Powell make an unscheduled detour after Islamabad and Baghdad and turn up in Riyadh Friday, March 19.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 6, 2004
They got a harsh response from Prince Nayef, the interior minister who leads the war against al-Qaeda. "The weak can't challenge the mighty. We are not a regime that wants people to be satisfied with us. We are here in Saudi Arabia in order to rule," he declared last weekend during two stormy meetings with two separate reformist delegations, which included notables, intellectuals, academics, and senior business figures.
In response to Nayef's remarks, one participant remarked "We should understand from what you are saying that you are a regime that is working against the people." debkafile sources report that this sharp exchange, which occurred at the beginning of the meeting, was later followed by a climactic outburst by a leading businessman who got up and said, "We haven't gone down this whole road (of reform efforts) in order to regress now because of the way you are talking. If you want to throw us into prison, do it now before we leave this meeting."
Such straight talking has not been heard before at meetings between members of the royal house and influential citizens. The royal family now faces double pressure: the war against al-Qaeda and a fast growing domestic demand for reform. The absence of essential reforms, and the refusal of members of the royal family even to discuss these reforms, is causing ever larger sections of the Saudi population to distance their support and themselves from the royal house. In such an atmosphere, young Saudis find themselves encouraged to join radical and militant opposition movements, such as al-Qaeda.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 11, 2003
The suicide bombing attack Saturday night November 9 that devastated Riyadh's Muhaya compound and killed scores was the work of an al Qaeda Lebanese team, according to our intelligence and counter-terror sources. With this strike, Osama bin Laden's Lebanese arm made its debut on the stage of international terror. debkafile has been reporting for more than a year that the Islamic network had built up three concentrations in Lebanon - in Tripoli in the north, Beirut and the Palestinian Ain Hilweh refugee camp in the south. Pointers to a Lebanese hit-team accumulated in the hands of Saudi intelligence and American counter-terror agencies in the Middle East 48 hours before the suicide bombers struck the Riyadh compound. The group was reported to be made up of al Qaeda operatives, Lebanese nationals and their Palestinian recruits.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 10, 2003
Though similar in operational method to the May 12 triple suicide attack in Riyadh, al Qaeda's suicide assault on the Muhaya housing complex in the Saudi capital Saturday night November 9 exposed two new features. Osama bin Laden's terrorists have taken a threatening step closer to one of their premier targets, the Saudi royal house; and their recruitment base of non-Saudi zealots is expanding. US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage, who flew into Riyadh for security talks with Crown Prince Abdullah from Baghdad, said Monday, November 10, to Al Arabiya TV: "It is clear to me that al Qaeda wants to take down the royal family and government of Saudi Arabia."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 18, 2003
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Click on small map for spread of al Qaeda network`s international bases.
1. The casualty count in al Qaeda's chain of attacks in Riyadh on Monday, May 12, is between 94 and 96 killed and 196 injured - almost triple the 34 dead grudgingly admitted by the Saudi authorities.
2. The assailants aimed for American targets at the hub of the US-Saudi strategic partnership. This stood out in their choice of the guarded, gated residential compounds to striket: Al-Hamra in East Riyadh on the way to King Khaled international airport, Arizona and Granada, homes to Americans and Britishers who help the royal government in the most sensitive security domains. Many of the Americans are on the staff of Vinnell, a subsidiary of the Northrop-Grumann aircraft manufacturer, as well as Boeing. Since 1975, Vinnell has been training members of the Saudi National Guard whose commander is Crown Prince Abdullah, for its primary task of defending the crown from external or domestic danger. The Boeing staffers instructed Saudi Air Force crews the handling of AWACs planes.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 13, 2003
After midnight Monday, May 12, Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network struck the United States and Saudi Arabia with devastating effect. In a multiple, multi-layered terrorist operation plotted as carefully as any military raid, small suicide squads hit three gated and guarded estates housing westerners in Riyadh and an American-Saudi partnership office - hours before US secretary of state Colin Powell flew in for a visit. The perpetrators displayed high skills in planning, intelligence, mobility and execution.