List of militant incidents in Saudi Arabia

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This is a timeline of the militant incidents in Saudi Arabia, derived from reports in the Saudi media and other sources.

The attacks have killed 91 foreigners and Saudi civilians and wounded 510 people, according to the Saudi government. 41 security force members have been killed and 218 wounded, while 112 militants have been killed and 25 wounded.[1]

1960s[edit]

The most serious violence to take place was a series of bomb blasts in Riyadh in late 1966 and early 1967. The bombings, which caused no known casualties, were claimed by the North Yemen-based Nasserite organisation Union of the People of the Arabian Peninsula [ittihad sha‘b al-jazira al-‘arabiyya] (UPAP). After the attacks, Saudi authorities arrested several hundred Yemenis, executed 17 of them and expelled the rest.[2]

1979[edit]

20 November–4 December (See Grand Mosque Seizure) - number of militants took over the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca to protest the House of Saud's policies of westernization. The militants were well organized and armed and were initially able to repel attempts by the Saudi National Guard to storm the complex. The Saudis eventually brought in French and Pakistani GIGN commandos to help their forces retake the Mosque. Non-Muslim commandos underwent nominal conversion to Islam before being allowed into the Mosque. Eventually the Mosque was retaken and the 63 or 67 surviving male militants were executed. The number of people killed in the siege and the total number of militants involved are disputed. Official sources put the death toll at 255, but others suggest that it was higher. Ruhollah Khomeini addressed on Radio regarding the seizure of the Mosque on 21 November.

1988[edit]

30 September - four Shi'ite men are beheaded for blowing up fuel storage tanks[3] at the Saudi Petrochemical Company (SADAF) facility in Jubail. They had entered the plant by cutting a hole in the perimeter fence. One tank happened to be empty, but another was full and burned for several days. Eventually the fire was extinguished when a firefighting team literally plugged the hole in the tank.

1995[edit]

13 November - a car bomb killed five US citizens and two Indians at the offices of the Saudi National Guard in Riyadh.[4]

1996[edit]

25 June (See Khobar Towers bombing) - the Khobar Towers apartment complex in Khobar, near Dhahran, is hit by a large truck bomb. Nineteen US airmen are killed and 372 wounded by the blast. William Perry, who was the United States Secretary of Defense at the time that this bombing happened, said in an interview in June 2007 that "he now believes al-Qaida rather than Iran was behind a 1996 truck bombing at an American military base."[5]

2003[edit]

12 May (See Riyadh Compound Bombings) 35 are killed and over 200 wounded during a suicide attack on the Vinnell Compound in Riyadh. Western sources report that National Guard collusion was involved and there are rumors of large numbers of Western expats leaving the country.[6]

31 May 2 police officers and a militant are killed.

14 June Security forces raided a building in the Khalidiya neighborhood of Makkah. Two Saudi police officers and five suspects were killed in a shootout. Twelve suspects were arrested including two from Chad and one Egyptian.[7][8]

28 July Six militants — four Saudis and two Chadians — and two police officers were killed in a police raid on a farm outside of Al-Qasim. The four Saudis were identified as Ahmad Al-Dakheel, Kareem Olayyan Al-Ramthan Al-Harbi, Saud Aamir Suleiman Al-Qurashi, and Muhammad Ghazi Saleem Al-Harbi. The Chadians were Isa Kamal Yousuf Khater and Isa Saleh Ali Ahmed. Another Saudi wanted person, identified as Ibrahim ibn Abdullah Khalaf Al-Harbi, was arrested after he being injured.[9]

23 September Three militants and a police officer are killed in a gunfight at a Riyadh hospital.

20 October Police raid hideout in Riyadh and capture a large supply of weapons.

3 November Police surround militant hideout in Riyadh and kill two.

6 November Two militants surrounded by the police in Riyadh blow themselves up.

8 November A truck bomb explodes at an Arab housing compound in Riyadh, killing 17 and injuring 120.

8 December an unnamed militant is killed at a Riyadh gas station.

2004[edit]

19 January Shootout in Al-Nassim District (Riyadh)

29 January One unnamed gunman captured and five police officers killed in a shootout in the Al-Nassim District of Riyadh.

April United States Embassy issues a travel advisory for the kingdom and urges all US citizens to leave.

5 April An unnamed militant is reported killed in a car chase in Riyadh.

12 April A police officer and one militant are killed in a shootout in Riyadh. Rakan ibn Moshen Al-Seikhan and Nasser ibn Rashid Al-Rashid are wounded and escaped. Both are reported dead on 4 July.

13 April Four police officers are killed in two attacks by militants. Several car bombs are found and defused.

15 April The United States orders all governmental dependents and nonessential personnel out of the kingdom as a security measure.

21 April A suicide bomber detonates a car bomb in Riyadh at the gates of a building used as the headquarters of the traffic police and emergency services. Five people die and 148 are injured.

22 April Three unnamed militants are killed by police in Jeddah in an incident in the Al-Fayha district.

1 May (See: Black Saturday (2004)) Seven people (two US citizens, two Britons, an Australian, a Canadian, and a Saudi) are killed in a rampage at the premises of a petroleum company in Yanbu by three brothers. All the attackers, dressed in military uniforms, are killed.

22 May German chef Hermann Dengl is shot and killed at a Jarir Bookstore in Riyadh.

29 May (See: 29 May 2004 Al-Khobar massacres) 22 are killed during an attack on the Oasis Compound in Al-Khobar. After a siege the gunmen escape. 19 of those killed are foreigners.

6 June Simon Cumbers, an Irish cameraman for the BBC, is killed and the reporter Frank Gardner very severely wounded by gunshots to his head in Riyadh.

8 June Robert Jacobs, a US citizen working for Vinnel Corp., is killed at his villa in Riyadh.

13 June One US expatriate Kenneth Scroggs is killed and another Paul Johnson working for Lockheed Martin is kidnapped at a fake police checkpoint in Riyadh. A car bomb is also discovered on this date.

18 June US citizen Paul Johnson is beheaded in Riyadh. His body is found some time later. A few hours later security services kill five militants (Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin, Turki Al-Muteri, Ibahim Al-Durayhim and two others). A dozen are reported captured.

23 June Saudi government offers a thirty-day limited amnesty to "terrorists".

1 July Abdullah ibn Ahmed Al-Rashoud is killed in shootout east of the capital. Bandar Al-Dakheel escapes. Two policemen (Bandar Al-Qahtani and Humoud Abdullah Al-Harbi) are killed.

4 July The bodies of Moshen Al-Seikhan and Nasser ibn Rashid Al-Rashid are discovered. One had had his leg crudely amputated. Both seem to have been wounded in fights with the security services and died later.

13 July Khaled al-Harbi, who is listed on the government's most-wanted list, surrenders in Iran, is flown to Saudi Arabia.

14 July Ibrahim al-Harb surrenders himself in Syria.

20 July Shootout in Riyadh. Eisa ibn Saad Al-Awshan (number 13 on the list of the 26 most-wanted militants) is killed. Saleh al-Oufi (#4), the head of Al Qaeda in the kingdom escapes from the raid on the compound where he had been living with his extended family.

23 July Amnesty offer expires. Six wanted people had turned themselves in.

4 August Tony Christopher, an Irish expatriate, is shot and killed at his desk in Riyadh.

5 August Faris Ahmed Jamaan al-Showeel al-Zahrani (#11 on the government's list of most-wanted) is captured in Abha without a fight.

30 August An unnamed US government employee is shot at while leaving a bank in Jeddah. No injuries.

11 September Two small bombs go off in Jeddah near the Saudi British and Saudi American Banks. Nobody is injured.

15 September Edward Smith, a British expatriate working for Marconi, is shot dead at a supermarket in Riyadh. No arrests are made.

26 September Laurent Barbot, a French employee of a defense electronics firm, is shot dead in his car in Jeddah. Five Chadians confessed to the crime in June 2005.

4 November Unnamed ‘deviant’ is arrested in a shoot-out at an Internet café in Buraidah, Qasim region. Two policemen are injured.

9 November Shootout in Jeddah. On Al-Amal Al-Saleh Street, police capture four unnamed militants and seize eight AKs and hundreds of locally-made bombs. No deaths are reported.

10 November Government announces the interception of 44,000 rounds of ammunition being smuggled in from Yemen. One Saudi waiting for the shipment is arrested.

13 November Five unnamed militants arrested in Riyadh and Zulfi. A number of machine guns and other weapons are captured. Nobody is hurt in the gunfight.

17 November A police officer (Private Fahd Al-Olayan) is killed and eight are injured in a shootout in Unayzah, Qassim. Five persons of interest are detained. Computers, pipe bombs and SR38,000 are seized.

6 December Invasion of U.S. Consulate in Jeddah: Five employees are killed as five Al-Qaeda militants attack outbuildings and the chancery building before Saudi forces retake the property. Four Saudi special forces were wounded, four hostages were killed and a further 10 wounded in the crossfire.[10]

16 December A call for kingdom-wide anti-government demonstrations by a London-based group fails.

29 December Two suicide car bombs explode in Riyadh. One outside the Interior Ministry Complex, the other near the Special Emergency Force training center. A passerby is killed and some people are wounded. In a resulting gun battle, seven suspected militants are killed. Two (Sultan Al-Otabi and Faisal Al-Dakheel) were on the Kingdom’s list of 26 Most Wanted.

2005[edit]

13 March Saudi security forces in Jeddah conduct an early-morning raid that kills one (Saed al-Youbi) labeled as a terrorist. One civilian was also killed; five policemen were wounded. Three other suspects were arrested. One was thought to be Ibrahim al-Youbi.

3 April through 5 April Saudi security forces launch the major Ar Rass raids against a three-house compound, 320 kilometers south of the capital. Fifteen terrorists, including Saleh Al-Aufi, reportedly the Al-Qaeda leader for Saudi Arabia were killed along with Talib Saud Al-Talib, also on the list of the 26 most-wanted persons. The gunfight lasted for most of two days and included the use of rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and other heavy weapons. Students at a nearby girl’s school were in danger from the fire and were evacuated by police who broke down the rear wall to their building.[11]

7 April Using information from the previous raid, security services killed Abdul Rahman Al-Yaziji, number four on the most-wanted list in a firefight in the Southern Industrial District of Riyadh. The newspapers report that only three men on the list of the 26 most-wanted are still at liberty. They are Saleh Al-Aufi, Talib Al-Talib and Abdullah al-Rashoud.

22 April A group of four insurgents dressed as women attempt to bluff their way past a security checkpoint near the holy city of Makkah. Women are forbidden to drive in Saudi Arabia. The police gave chase as the group fled in their car. They were surrounded in a hilly area near Umm Al-Joud southeast of the city. Two militants and two security officers were killed in the resulting shootout, an unknown number were wounded. The battle took place as the Western Region of Saudi Arabia was conducting its first-ever elections for local government councils.

9 May Abdul Aziz ibn Rasheed Al-Inazi is arrested after a shoot-out in Riyadh. His is described in the press as a leader of the Religious Committee of the insurgency.

18 May The United States Embassy issues a message that revokes the travel advisory for Saudi Arabia that had been in effect for a year.

16 June Security services announce the arrest in Riyadh of five Chadians who were described as 'members of a deviant group.' The detainees, whose names were not given confessed to the murder of Laurent Barbot in September 2004 as well as a number of armed robberies.

19 June Lt Colonel Mubarak Al-Sawat, a senior police commander in Makkah, was killed outside his home as he got in his car on his way to work. Newspapers report the killing may have been a botched kidnapping attempt.

21 June The killers of Lt Colonel Mubarak Al-Sawat are killed by security forces after a long fire-fight on the Old Makkah Road in the Holy City. Mansour Al-Thubaity and Kamal Foudah, both Saudi nationals, were fired on while fleeing police in a car, took another car and finally were killed while hiding in a building in a residential area. Three policemen were injured, one of them seriously.

24 June An internet site linked to Al-Qaeda in Iraq reports that Abdullah al-Rashoud, one of the few persons on the list of 26 Saudis most wanted has been killed by a US bomb. If true, this would leave only two persons ( Saleh Al-Aufi, the alleged leader of Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, and Taleb Al-Taleb) on that list unaccounted for.

29 June The security services issues two new lists of wanted persons. List A includes 15 names of persons suspected of terrorist affiliations and who are thought to be in the Kingdom. List B is of 21 names of persons suspected of terrorist affiliation, who are thought to be outside the Kingdom. List A

(1) Younus Mohamed Al-Hiyari, 36, Moroccan. Killed 3 July 2005.
(2) Fahd Farraj Al-Juwair, 35, Saudi.
(3) Zaid Saad Al-Samary, 31, Saudi.
(4) Abdul Rahman Saleh Al-Miteb, 26, Saudi. (See entry for 28 December 2005)
(5) Saleh Mansour Al-Harbi, 22, Saudi.
(6) Sultan Saleh Al-Hasry, 26, Saudi.
(7) Mohamed Abdul Rahman Al-Suwailemi, 23, Saudi.
(8) Mohamed Saleh Al-Ghaith, 23, Saudi.
(9) Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al-Tuwaijeri, 21, Saudi.
(10) Mohamed Saeed Al-Amry, 25, Saudi. Captured 25 July 2005
(11) Ibrahim Abdullah Al-Motair, 21, Saudi.
(12) Walid Mutlaq Al-Radadi, 21, Saudi.
(13) Naif Farhan Al-Shammary, 24, Saudi.
(14) Majed Hamid Al-Hasry, 29, Saudi.
(15) Abdullah Muhaya Al-Shammary, 24, Saudi


List B

(1) Noor Mohamed Moussa, 21, Chadian.
(2) Manour Mohamed Yousef, 24, Chadian.
(3) Othman Mohamed Kourani, 23, Chadian.
(4) Mohsen Ayed Al-Fadhli, 25, Kuwaiti.
(5) Abdullah Walad Mohamed Sayyed, 37, Mauritanian.
(6) Zaid Hassan Humaid, 34, Yemeni.
(7) Fahd Saleh Al-Mahyani, 24, Saudi.
(8) Adnan Abdullah Al-Sharief, 28, Saudi.
(9) Marzouq Faisal Al-Otaibi, 32, Saudi.
(10) Adel Abdullateef Al-Sanie, 27, Saudi.
(11) Mohamed Abdul Rahman Al-Dhait, 21, Saudi.
(12) Sultan Sunaitan Al-Dhait, 24, Saudi.
(13) Saleh Saeed Al-Ghamdi, 40, Saudi.
(14) Faiz Ibrahim Ayub, 30, Saudi. (See entry for 1 July 2005)
(15) Khaled Mohamed Al-Harbi, 29, Saudi.
(16) Mohamed Othman Al-Zahrani, 44, Saudi.
(17) Abdullah Mohamed Al-Rumayan, 27, Saudi.
(18) Mohamed Saleh Al-Rashoudi, 24, Saudi.
(19) Saad Mohamed Al-Shahry, 31, Saudi.
(20) Ali Matir Al-Osaimy, 23, Saudi.
(21) Faris Abdullah Al-Dhahiry, 22, Saudi. (See entry for 1 July 2005)

1 July Newspapers report that Faiz Ibrahim Ayub (name 14 on list B) turned himself to a Saudi embassy, perhaps in Beirut. The government denies this.

The family of Faris Abdullah Al-Dhahiry (Name 22 on list B) claim he had been killed in Iraq in November 2004.

3 July Younus Mohamed Al-Hiyari (The first name on List A) is killed in a shoot-out with police in eastern Riyadh. Six police officers were injured in the clash which included the use of homemade bombs by the militants. Three men were arrested, but their names were not immediately released.

19 July Saudi Security forces capture a weapons cache in Al-Kharj south of Riyadh. The store included 1,900 kg of fertilizer, 125 kg of ammonium nitrate, aluminum powder, potassium nitrate and other chemicals used by suspected Al-Qaeda militants to make bombs.

20 July The US Embassy warns US citizens in Saudi Arabia to lower their profile and be on alert due to intelligence indicating preparations were being made for a terrorist attack.

25 July Mohamed Saeed Al-Amry (number ten on List A) is captured in Madinah along with two unnamed others. He was carrying an explosive device when he was captured.

The US Embassy restricts the travel of US military personnel in the Kingdom to home and office only in light of intelligence indicating planning for a militant strike.

8 August United States, United Kingdom, Australian and New Zealand embassies and consulates close for two days in response to intelligence. Reuters reports the British government believe a militant attack to be in the final stages of preparation. Saudi security forces increase activity across the kingdom with additional checkpoints presence. Military facilities increase security also. No militant activity or arrests are reported in the press.

18 August Saudi Security Forces conducted six raids around the kingdom killing four and capturing an unknown number of fighters. During one of these actions, Saleh al-Oufi is reportedly killed in Madinah. He was the fourth name on the original list of 26 most-wanted persons and has been described as the Al Qaeda chief in the kingdom. He had narrowly escaped capture last year. His death leaves on one person on that list unaccounted for.

Newspapers also reported that Farraj Al-Juwait was killed by police near exit five on the Ring Road in Riyadh. Reports mistakenly indicate that this name was on one of the recent lists of most-wanted militants.

3 December Seventeen unnamed "terror suspect"s are arrested in a series of raids in Riyadh, Al-Kharj and Majmaa. The security services also claimed to have captured an undisclosed amount af explosives and weaponry.

28 December In separate incidents, Saudi security forces killed two wanted militants in Qassim. Abdul Rahman Saleh Al-Miteb, (#4 on List A) was killed in Um Khashba after a routine traffic stop led to his killing two highway patrolmen. This set off a running gunfight that killed three more police officers. He was killed by gunfire, his body was holding an automatic weapon and a hand grenade.

Abdul Rahman Al-Suwailemi died in custody from his wounds after being captured elsewhere in the region. He was described as a computer expert who managed insurgent websites.

2006[edit]

24 February Saudi security forces have thwarted an attempted suicide attack at an oil processing facility in eastern Saudi Arabia, Saudi security sources told CNN. Two pick-up trucks carrying two would-be bombers tried to enter the side gate to the Abqaiq plant in the Eastern Province, the largest oil processing facilities in the world (more than 60% of Saudi production), but the attackers detonated their explosives after security guards fired on them, according to statements from Saudi's interior and oil ministries. According to Saudi sources, the plant was not damaged and only minor damage to one small (1.5 inch) pipeline was caused by splinters, along with serious injuries among security guards and minor injuries among a few Aramco plant workers.

The dead suspects were later named as Muhammed Al-Gaith and Abdullah Al-Tuwaijri. Two members of the security forces were also killed in the fight.

27 February In a series of predawn raids sparked by the attack on Abqaiq, Saudi security forces killed five unnamed militants (in Al-Yarmouk) and captured another (in Al-Rawabi). In addition, three people were killed by the police at a vehicle checkpoint. Initial reports indicate that the checkpoint incident was a mistake, as those killed were Filipino guest workers.

26 October Security services announce the arrest of 44 Saudi nationals in Riyadh, Al-Qassim and Hail.

2 December Security services announce the arrest of 136 Al-Qaeda suspects, including 115 Saudi nationals. Calling the arrests "preemptive," they claim that at least one cell of militants were on the verge of making a suicide attack in the Kingdom.

2007[edit]

26 February Three French nationals, including a teenager, murdered during a desert trip near the ancient city Madain Saleh.[4]

2008[edit]

2009[edit]

In August, an attempt was made on the life of Saudi Prince and counterintelligence chief Mohammed bin Nayef by al Qaeda operative Abdullah Hasan Tali al-Asiri, who died after detonating an underwear bomb.[12]

2012[edit]

On 26 August 2012, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry announced the arrest of 2 Saudis and 6 Yemenis in Riyadh and Jeddah who had been preparing explosives for attacks within the kingdom. One member of the cell had had fingers amputated from injuries sustained by working on explosives. Materials for making bombs were found in a Riyadh mosque.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Overview". The St. Petersburg Times. 5 July 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Hegghammer, Thomas (2009). "Jihad, Yes, But Not Revolution: Explaining the Extraversion of Islamist Violence in Saudi Arabia". British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 36 (3): 395–496. doi:10.1080/13530190903338938. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Peterzell, Jay (24 September 1990). "The Gulf: Shi'Ites: Poorer Cousins". Time. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Chronology of Attacks on Westerners in Saudi Arabia". Asharq Alawsat. 27 February 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Perry: U.S. eyed Iran attack after bombing". UPI. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  6. ^ Gedye, Robin; Bradley, John R (16 May 2003). "Bomber 'moles' in Saudi forces". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Congressional Record - Cunningham". SUSRIS. Retrieved 26 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "Terror Crackdown in Makkah". Arab News. Retrieved 26 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "No Letup in Crackdown on Terror". Arab News. Retrieved 26 November 2009. 
  10. ^ http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/jtic-briefing-jeddah-attack-underscores-fall-in-capabilities-of-saudi-milit
  11. ^ "Battle of Al-Ras" by Sabria S. Jawhar and Rob L. Wagner, Saudi Gazette, 12 April 2005. Sites.google.com (12 May 2003). Retrieved on 29 November 2011.
  12. ^ "The August Attempt on Saudi Prince Mohammed – and the Link to Flight 253". ABC News. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "LexisNexis News". LexisNexis. Retrieved 29 August 2012.