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.


Four killed in failed terrorist attack on interior ministry building north of Riyadh

Updated 26 min 1 sec ago
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Four killed in failed terrorist attack on interior ministry building north of Riyadh

  • Three government security personnel suffered minor injuries during the exchange of fire
  • The identities of the four gunmen are still being determined

RIYADH: Four heavily armed attackers were killed in a failed terrorist attack on an interior ministry building in Zulfi, north of Riyadh.

A spokesperson from the Kingdom’s Presidency of State Security also said that three government security personnel suffered minor injuries during the exchange of fire, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

Al-Arabiya reported that the assailants belonged to Daesh, but the group had not claimed responsibility for the attack and there was no official confirmation from Saudi authorities as to the identity of the attackers on Sunday afternoon.

“The security authorities in the Presidency managed to thwart the terrorist act targeting the center of investigations ... and dealt with them as required by the situation,” the spokesman was quoted by SPA as saying.

The identities of the four gunmen are still being determined by government authorities, the news agency added.

Special security personnel were still working on the site to assess and identify the explosive materials that the terrorists had in their possession, the spokesperson said, and the findings would be announced later.

The suspects, who were on board a car, tried to crash through the main entrance of the General Directorate of Investigation’s Center in Riyadh, but were intercepted by security to prevent the vehicle from gaining access into the compund.

Two gunmen died during the initial exchange of fire with the security forces, while one was killed as he attempted to flee. The fourth attacker died as he tried to blow up an explosive belt,  pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported. 

The Kingdom of Bahrain condemned the actions of the suspects and the terrorist attack on Sunday, the country's news agency said.