Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Saudi authorities yesterday thwarted a series of attacks similar to the 9/11 attacks on Washington and New York, aimed at giving a strong warning to moderate Islam. In fact, Riyadh security forces announced that they rounded up 172 militants, plotting to attack oil facilities and military bases in the kingdom.
Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki said that “Some individuals were training to fly to carry out terrorist attacks ... some of the cells arrested planned to target oil installations and refineries”.
Turki added that their targets included “military bases in and outside” Saudi Arabia. The spokesman was unable to indicate which bases outside the borders were among the targets, but confirmed that foreign bases within Saudi territories were not on the target list.
This element has convinced global analysts that the terrorist strikes aimed to give a strong warning sign not only to the West but above all to the world of moderate Islam.
According to analysis carried by the British Stratfor group, yesterdays successful operations carried out by Saudi intelligence “are part of a much larger anti-terrorism plan, ongoing since 2004, which aims to force al-Qaeda to re-evaluate its attack plans against the West and all those it deems to be subservient to the West in the Arab World”.
The terrorist group led by Osama bin-Laden, was in fact, “stopped in the midst of its efforts to install a dominion of fundamentalism, stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Horn of Africa. If the Saudi attack had taken place, the psychological shock and its repercussions on the West and Arab world would have been of devastating proportions”.