The 21st Century Phenomenon



On 12/29/2004 at about 20:30 a group of armed men attacked with three car bombs the Headquarters of the Saudi Interior Ministry and training center for Emergency Forces, in the district of al-Maazar, in the outskirts of the Capital Riyadh.One car was detonated near by in order to divert the attention of the guards. Two other car bombs, driven by suicide bombers, attacked an Interior Ministry convoy in a traffic tunnel leading to the ministry.

The attack was, probably, an attempt on the life of senior officials working in the compound and headed by Prince Muhammed Naif Abdelaziz, the son of the Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif Bin Sultan Abdelaziz, who is also in charge on the war on terror in Saudi Arabia. He escaped the attack unharmed. A limousine driver was killed and 90 people, most of them Interior Ministry employees, were wounded in the failed attack. 

Few hours after the attack investigating security forces the attacks were led to a house, where they killed other seven suspects, including Yemeni national Ibrahim Ahmad Abdel Majid al-Rimy, considered to have links with Osama Bin Laden. Nine Islamic militants affiliated to Al Qaeda were killed in the attack and the following events.   

Intelligence police sources claimed that Sultan al-Otaibi, one of the 26 most-wanted terrorists in the Kingdom, was killed in the attack. Although his death was not officially confirmed, he was not heard of since 12/29/2004.

On Tuesday, 12/28/2004, a day before the Interior Ministry attack, one suspect was killed and another captured during a shootout with police in Riyadh. Another suspect was killed early on Wednesday 12/29/2008 morning, the day of the attack, as the authorities investigated Tuesday’s clash.

The attacks came two weeks after Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden called on his followers to focus attacks on his homeland – Saudi Arabia.


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