On Saturday 05/29/2004 at about 07:30, few men in two cars, dressed as security guards, opened fire on three locations, in the town of Khobar, an oil industry town near Dammam on the cost of the Gulf.

The first hit’s location was the Khobar headquarters of APICORP (Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation). Six people were killed, including a 10-year-old Egyptian boy whose father worked there. Two Saudi security guards, a British citizen, a Pakistani and a Filipino were also listed among the dead. A few minutes later, an Indian citizen caught in the crossfire of a highway shootout was shot in the neck and died.

About 30 minutes later, attackers stormed the Petroleum Center headquarters about three kilometers (two miles) away where they killed at least four people, including an American. The attackers then moved about 800 meters away to the Saad Center, a residential building which is part of Oasis compound, where they took about 200 hostages and raised their barricades.

Several Lebanese were released by the gunmen during the negotiation with the Saudi authorities as a gesture. On Saturday evening the police tried to storm the building, the attempt failed and some of the policemen were wounded. On Sunday 05/30/2005 morning, after the hostage takers slaughtered 9 hostages, Filipinos and Hindus, and broadcasted the slaughter through a mobile phone by Fawaz al-Nashmi, one of the perpetrators, a Saudi army commando, which was landed on the roof of the compound by helicopters, stormed the building and killed all four hostage takers including Fawaz al-Nashmi. They were all identified as known Al Qaeda activists in Saudi Arabia.  Three other terrorists managed to flee the scene and Saudi Arabia security authorities launched a country wide men hunt to catch them. Turki Al Muteiry, the commander of the attack, managed to escape the scene.

The total number of casualties in the Khobar hostages crisis was 22, 4 assailants and 18 innocent civilians.

A Web site previously used to publish statements for Al Qaeda posted a claim of responsibility for the attack. In the claim, an unknown group calling itself “The Jerusalem Squadron” said a group of “brave fighters” attacked “Zionists and crusaders” who are in Khobar to “steal our oil and resources.” “We had planned to detonate an explosive-laden truck inside the compound”, said the statement, “but because entering the compound was so easy there was no need.”

The Saudi Security service believed that the Moroccan Hussein el-Haski was involved in the planning of the attack.


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