Bombings Step Up Pressure on Saudi Regime

(Financial Times-UK) The bombs that devastated an expatriate compound in Riyadh on Saturday are a fresh challenge to Saudi Arabia's ruling al-Saud family. The interior ministry says 600 people have been arrested since May, but the discovery of cells in cities across the country and of massive quantities of explosives suggest the terrorist network is more extensive and has greater capability than had been assumed. Islamist activist Mohsen al-Awaji said many Saudis were critical of the government's approach, insisting that many detainees were unconnected to terrorist attacks but were suspected because they had fought in Afghanistan, Chechnya, or Bosnia, past jihads that had not been opposed by the Saudi government. Three influential clerics, two of them considered radical, last week offered to mediate between the government and suspected terrorists. Mr. Awaji said the initial reaction of the regime to the initiative was positive.

2003-11-10 00:00:00

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