Christian Action Network

Daily Terrorism News; WebPage @ www.ChristianAction.Org

Saudi Arabia to form special oil protection force to guard against terrorist attacks

(AP) Saudi Arabia will set up a 35,000-strong special force to protect its oil facilities due to the increasing threats against al-Qaida, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia, which has a quarter of the world’s proven oil reserves, has seen a rise in attacks by Islamist extremists over the last few years.

“The ultimate goal for the force is to reach 35,000 personnel, but we have to go gradually,” Maj. Mansour al-Turki, interior ministry spokesman told the Associated Press over the phone. “We hope that within next year, the force reaches 20,000 people.”

In Feb. 2006, two suicide bombers attacked the oil facility at Abqaiq on the east coast, killing two security guards and wounding eight foreign workers in an incident later claimed by the Saudi branch of al-Qaida.

More recently, the Saudi authorities announced its largest terror sweep to date in April, netting 172 militants, including pilots they say were trained for oil refinery attacks using civilian planes.

Al-Turki said that the force existed before but in smaller numbers and with less advanced equipment.

“With the increase of terrorist threats facing oil installations, the force will be receiving sophisticated training and equipment,” he said.

Al-Turki however said that it will take more than five years for the force to reach its full capacity.

He didn’t provide details for the companies which will be responsible for providing the training.

However, the Nicosia-based Middle East Economic Survey said in a report this month that the US defense group Lockheed Martin will provide training for the use of laser security, satellite imagining surveillance equipment, countermeasures and crisis management.

The move to expand the oil facilities force came amid a proposed new U.S. arms sales to Persian Gulf nations worth at least US$20 billion (euro14.5 billion). The sale would include advanced weaponry and air systems that would greatly enhance the striking ability of Saudi warplanes.

Saudi Arabia, the birth place of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, has been waging a heavy crackdown on al-Qaida militants since a wave of attacks on foreigners in the kingdom in 2003.


August 29, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, Homeland security, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

1 Comment »

  1. I track the Saudi funded expansion of militant, extremist Wahhabi Islam on my blog, Wahaudi — nearly 600 stories from around the world in less than 6 months.

    Comment by R Hampton | August 30, 2007 | Reply

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