- Feb 12, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
The war on terror continues. Can the Saudi’s be trusted long term, or are they doing what is politically beneficial to them for a short time?
SourceApr 6, 8:59 PM (ET)
By ADNAN MALIK
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Security forces have killed 15 Islamic militants in four days, including three on the most wanted list, in the most intensive fighting yet seen in Saudi Arabia's two-year war on terror - a sign the kingdom may have al-Qaida on the defensive.
Interior Minister Prince Nayef warned militants: "Either come back to your senses or you'll face death."
"We'll carry on (the fight) until it's over and that won't be long, God willing," Nayef said, in remarks carried by the official Saudi news agency.
Brig. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said Saudi security forces had gained the upper hand against the militants.
"We have a security system in place that is working," he told The Associated Press.
Saudi Arabia launched its crackdown on militants in 2003 after a string of suicide bombings, kidnappings and gun attacks claimed by a branch of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network. The attacks were an alert for Saudis that bin Laden was targeting the rulers of the nation of his birth, not just the West.
"There's no doubt that terrorists in Saudi Arabia are struggling for survival," Khalil al-Khalil, a Saudi terror expert, said of the militant groups. "Their ability to organize and plan has been severely incapacitated. They are very weak, both organizationally and morally."
But he warned that attacks were likely to continue because al-Qaida is still finding new recruits, particularly through radical clerics.
"Its hard to say at what rate they are recruiting. Definitely they have sympathizers, but the sympathy for them is drying up," al-Khalil said.