Bin Laden ‘deliberately’ wanted to tarnish Saudi-US relations: Western intelligence

Osama Bin Laden, the world’s former most wanted man for terrorism charges. (File photo: AP)
Updated 04 August 2018
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Bin Laden ‘deliberately’ wanted to tarnish Saudi-US relations: Western intelligence

  • ‘There is no doubt that he deliberately chose Saudi citizens for the 9/11 plot’
  • Bin Laden developed a political attitude in 1990 when he wanted to evict communists from Yemen

DUBAI: Osama Bin Laden, the world’s former most wanted man for terrorism charges, was set on using Saudi citizens to destroy relations between the west and the east, according to officials in Riyadh, London and Washington DC.

“There is no doubt that he deliberately chose Saudi citizens for the 9/11 plot,” a British intelligence officer told British daily the Guardian.  

The intelligence officer said that Bin Laden “was convinced” that he was going to turn the west against Saudi Arabia.

The former head of Saudi intelligence between 1977 and September 1, 2001, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, also said his intelligence agency knew that something “spectacular” was about to happen to the Americans, British, French and Arabs just months before 9/11, the report said.

According to the prince, the Al-Qaeda leader had developed a political attitude in 1990 when he wanted to evict the communists from South Yemen. This happened after Bin Laden travelled to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet occupation.

However, according to Bin Laden’s mother, Alia Ghanem, he was a shy boy who was academically capable and only became radicalised in his early 20s while studying in university.

Speaking for the first time, she told the Guardian that he was brainwashed at university.

While at university, Bin Laden met Abdullah Azzam who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Azzam became Bin Laden’s spiritual adviser after he exiled from Saudi Arabia.

Since the 9/11 attack in 2001, Bin Laden has been a major target of the US with a $25 million bounty on his head. He was killed in May, 2011, inside a private residential compound in Pakistan during a covert US operation.


Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

Updated 18 June 2019
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Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

JEDDAH: The Jeddah Season festival has provided a wide range of seasonal employment opportunities for young Saudi men and women, helping them gain experience and prepare them to enter the job market.

More than 5,000 young Saudis are working around the clock, each in his or her field, to manage the festival’s activities.

The festival aims to highlight development opportunities in Saudi Arabia, introduce the Kingdom as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, support the government’s efforts to empower Saudi youths, support local small and medium enterprises, develop Jeddah’s tourism sector and provide volunteer opportunities.

Jeddah Season, which began on June 8 and runs until July 18, has attracted thousands of visitors of all ages through its 150 local and international events and activities.

It is being held at five sites: King Abdullah Sports City, Al-Hamra Corniche, the Jeddah Waterfront, Obhur and Historic Jeddah (Al-Balad), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jeddah Season offers a wide range of tourism, entertainment and cultural events and activities, and sheds light on the city’s status as the Kingdom’s tourism capital. Most of its events are being held for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Jeddah Season is in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to advance the welfare of Saudi society, diversify local development opportunities, improve the Kingdom’s contribution to arts and culture, and create job opportunities for Saudi youths.