The militants who were recently apprehended in Saudi Arabia are saying that their plan was to draw US forces into Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh, May 15 (DPA) Suspected militants being held in Saudi Arabia on charges of plotting terror attacks have told prosecutors their main aim had been to draw the US into Saudi territory, Saudi media reports said Tuesday.
The suspects, Abdullah al-Muqren, Khaled al-Kurdy, Ahmed al-Muqren and Mohamed al-Zeinwere, were among the 172 suspected militants arrested in late April and reportedly linked to seven terrorist cells, including Al Qaeda. The reports said they admitted that their plot had been part of a larger terrorist campaign that involved targeting other countries in the Gulf, such as Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.
They also said they had planned to attack Saudi Arabia's Bqeeq oil field under the instruction of Osama bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist network. They believed that the US would have moved in to protect the oil field if the attack was carried out. If this had happened, according to the militants, the US would have been an easy target for Al Qaeda attacks.
A devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities would surely rock the world's financial markets and send the price of oil soaring above $100 a barrel. The resulting economic panic would likely cause the US to dispatch forces to occupy the Saudi fields in order to safeguard them and ensure that oil production is restored to previous levels.
Al Qaeda has a large base of sympathizers in Saudi Arabia who would undoubtedly be enraged by a large-scale American presence in that country. Their hope is that the sight of the "infidel" occupiers in the Muslim holy lands would lure these people into a life of terrorism and jihad.
It's an intriguing strategy and it flies in the face of conventional wisdom which is that Al Qaeda wants to force the US out of the Middle East. That may be one long-term objective, but the far more important near-term objective is to topple the Saudi monarchy and seize control of that country's vast oil resources. By forcing the House of Saud closer to the Americans, bin Laden hopes to undercut their standing with the Saudi people and weaken their grip on power.
In the meantime, drawing America into another costly occupation of a Muslim country would also have the added benefit to Al Qaeda of bleeding our resources and manpower. Bin Laden still likely believes that the key to destroying the Saudi regime is to first weaken American economically to the extent that it is no longer able to maintain it's large military presence across the Middle East.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!