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ABQAIQ ATTACK

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Abqaiq, in East Saudi Arabia on the Gulf, oin the outskirts of the town of Dammam , is the greatest refinery installation in the world and one of the most sensitive economic facilities in the world. In order to destabilize Saudi Arabia and to cause substantial economic damage to the Western democracies, Abqaiq was attacked by an Al Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia, on Friday 02/24/2006 noon.

The attack began when two car bombs approached the Abqaiq refinery at about 15:00. One car breached the outer security perimeter after opening fire on security guards, killing 3 and wounding 10, before being stopped at a second security perimeter, where they set off the explosives in the entrance gate of Abqaiq compound and exploded without causing meaningful damage. The explosions caused a “minor fire” in a nearby industrial area that was quickly brought under control. Six refinery employees were slightly wounded by the blast.

The second car was intercepted by Saudi security forces and the would-be suicide driver was shot dead before he managed to blow up his car bomb. 

The two suicide bombers were identified as Abdullah Abdul Aziz al-Tweijri, 21, and Mohammed Saleh al-Gheith, 23, both from well known Saudi families and both were on a list of the 36 most-wanted terrorists the kingdom issued in 06/28/2005. According to Saudi intelligence sources each car was loaded with one tone of home made fertilizer Nitrate Ammonal along with highly explosive materials including RDX, PITN and Nitro Glycerin explosives.

Few hours later Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack, in a message posted on a Islamist Web site that has previously carried al Qaeda messages. Two suicide bombers drove cars into the facility, as part of a bigger plan to attack “the crusaders” the enouncement said.

Two days later, on Sunday 02/26/2006 night, Saudi security forces closed-in on a villa in Yarmuk neighborhood in the East of the capital Riyadh. The next morning, after Al Qaeda suspects in the location refused to surrender, the forces stormed the compound and killed 5 Al Qaeda operatives. A sixth suspect was wounded and captured.  A large quantity of arms and ammunition seized from the villa along with $53,000 in cash.

Four of the five killed suspects were identified as: Fahd Faraj al-Juwair, 36, who was born in Zulfi. Fahd Faraj al-Juwair was  no’ 2 on the list of the 36 most-wanted terrorists the Saudis issued on 06/28/2005, and the contemporary leader of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. He and two other killed suspects Jaffal al-Shammari, 28, and Abdullah al-Shammari, 25, no 15 on the most wanted list,  led the Abqaiq attack two days earlier.  The other killed suspect was Ibrahim al-Muteir, 22, no 11 on the list. The statement means that almost all of the suspects on a list of 36 issued, on 06/28/2005, have been killed or arrested.

On 03/02/2006, Iraqi border guards have captured the Saudi Abdullah Salah al-Harbi who admitted he was involved in the Abqaiq attack. He claimed he fled with 5 other offenders from Saudi Arabia and headed to Iraq to join the insurgence against USA. The five lost contact and he did not know his colleagues whereabouts.

On 04/18/2006 the Saudi police enounced the arrest of five more suspects in committing the Abqaiq attack. They were arrested along with a car bomb loaded with 1.5 tone explosives designated to yet another attack. The five suspects were under surveillance and taped allegedly preparing the car.

Summary ;

The failed Abqaiq attack turned to be a major blow for Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Most of its operational personnel was captured, killed or managed to flee the country. Indeed, as to 11/2008, two and a half years later, the Abqaiq attack was the last meaningful terror attack in Saudi Arabia.

 

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