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Posted: 6/2/2003 10:05:24 AM EDT
[URL]http://www.msnbc.com/news/918973.asp?0cv=CB10[/URL] The highest-ranking al-Qaida operative in Saudi Arabia — and one of the organization’s top 20 leaders — was killed during a raid in the kingdom over the weekend, senior U.S. and Saudi officials told NBC News on Monday. YOSIF SALIH FAHD ALA’YEERI, aka “the Swift Sword,” was a senior propagandist, financier and facilitator within al-Qaida, a senior U.S. official said. Saudi officials informed President Bush of the death of Ala’yeeri, the highest-ranking al-Qaida official ever killed or captured by the Saudis. “He was well known to the CIA and other intelligence agencies,” said the U.S. official, adding that he was killed in a shootout in the Saudi interior. The precise location was unavailable, said the official. The same official said that Ala’yeeri held a “senior position” in planning and execution of the recent Riyadh bombings that killed 35. FBI CHIEF IN RIYADH On Sunday, FBI Director Robert Mueller said that the suicide bombings bore “all the hallmarks” of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida group, and he praised the U.S.-Saudi cooperation in the investigation of the attacks. Mueller, who arrived in Saudi Arabia earlier in the day from Jordan, said he was in the Gulf kingdom to praise Saudi officials for their support in the war on terror and the probe into the fatal May 12 attacks. The State Department announced Sunday that a ninth American had died from injuries received in the late night bombings at three Riyadh residential compounds. No personal details were released at the family’s request. Some 35 people are reported to have been killed, including nine bombers. “I think we assume that, yes, there are ties (in the attacks) to al-Qaida,” Mueller said during a press conference in the Saudi capital late Sunday. “I don’t want to get into the details because the investigations are ongoing, but clearly this type of undertaking has all the hallmarks of an al-Qaida operation.” HEADING TO MOROCCO A U.S. diplomat said Mueller planned to stay in Saudi Arabia through Monday. Moroccan officials in Rabat said the FBI chief is also expected to travel to Morocco within days for talks with King Mohammed VI. Four days after the Riyadh attacks, the Moroccan city of Casablanca was rocked by nearly simultaneous bombings that killed 43 people, including 12 bombers. The Casablanca bombing plotters are suspected of financial ties to senior al-Qaida leaders outside of Morocco, U.S. officials have said on condition of anonymity. When asked Sunday if a link has been established between the Saudi and Moroccan attacks, Mueller told reporters: “It’s too early to make any definite statement as to the relationships.” Mueller said since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and last month’s Riyadh bombings, officials in both countries have been enhancing domestic security precautions, but more needed to be done. Mueller would not disclose how many people have been arrested since the investigation into the Riyadh attacks was launched, but he said none of those in detention were thought to be on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list. “(Our) Saudi counterparts have moved aggressively to identify and detain those who would have some participation, either directly or more remotely, to these events,” he said. Saudi authorities have detained about 100 people since the Riyadh bombings. MORE ARRESTS Late Sunday, an Interior Ministry official said 12 men and three women with rifles, bomb-making chemicals and $187,000 were arrested during the past two days in different locations in the holy city of Medina. Ten of the detained men were Saudis; the others included Moroccans and a Syrian, authorities said. It was unclear if the suspects were connected to the May 12 attacks and whether al-Ayri was discovered during these raid. The official only said they were detained in relation to the nationwide terrorism investigation. Mueller said he was “tremendously gratified” by statements made by Saudi King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah following the May 12 attacks “expressing solidarity with (America) ... and others on the war against terrorism.” U.S. investigators are in Saudi Arabia to only “assist their Saudi counterparts at the three sites,” Mueller said. “We were pleased to be able to complement and help our Saudi counterparts in continuing ... gathering evidence at the site of the bombings,” he said. Only one team of U.S. investigators remains in Saudi Arabia. A team that arrived following the bombings has since returned to America. A smaller team of six or seven U.S. analysts and experts is expected to arrive soon. After a 1996 truck bombing killed 19 U.S. military personnel in Saudi Arabia, U.S. officials complained about Saudis blocking access to evidence, witnesses and suspects.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 10:10:11 AM EDT
[...] And another one's gone and another one's gone. Another one bites the dust [...] [pound][nuts][chair]
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 10:13:49 AM EDT
no news like good news.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 10:15:10 AM EDT
This is one of those things I sincerely hope I'm wrong about. I see a coming war between these ideologies, the scale of which hasn't been seen since the Muslim invasion of Europe. I think that over the past few years we've only seen the opening skirmishes. I have a gut feeling that this will get much uglier before it's over. Remember, Homeland Defense begins at home.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 10:32:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/2/2003 10:34:38 AM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Thats what you get when you shit where you eat. Attacking the compounds killed way more Saudis than Americans. Now those families want these AlQaida types dead. The vendetta is a very old and established tradition in that part of the world. Note that he WAS killed rather than captured to avoid him squeeling to us about who in the Saudi Goverment was supporting him BEFORE he turned around and embarrased them by pulling some shit in their backyard.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 10:43:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: Thats what you get when you shit where you eat. Attacking the compounds killed way more Saudis than Americans. Now those families want these AlQaida types dead. The vendetta is a very old and established tradition in that part of the world. Note that he WAS killed rather than captured to avoid him squeeling to us about who in the Saudi Goverment was supporting him BEFORE he turned around and embarrased them by pulling some shit in their backyard.
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That's exactly what I said when this occurred: it was a huge strategic error for Al Quaeda, and one that showed how desperate and leaderless they are. They are hitting whatever they have the ability to hit just to try to prove they still exist. In the end, it will kill them.
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