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  1. #1
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    Default Saudi Arabia: seeking security (catch all)

    Moderator's Note

    This thread until January 22nd 2015 was entitled 'Terrorism, CT and internal issues in Saudi Arabia', the title has been changed to reflect a wider remit and the new title is 'Saudi Arabia: seeking security (catch all)' (ends).


    Today on BBC: Saudis 'foil oil facility attack'
    Saudi security forces have foiled an apparent suicide car bomb attack on a major oil production facility in the eastern town of Abqaiq. Guards opened fire on at least two cars carrying explosives as they tried to ram the gates. Two guards were killed...
    By coincidence, the Jamestown Foundation just published this report today (which was actually in their pub Terrorism Monitor yesterday): Saudi Oil Facilities: Al-Qaeda's Next Target?
    Former CIA agent Robert Baer has considered the implications of terrorist attacks on Saudi oil facilities, writing, "At the least, a moderate-to-severe attack on Abqaiq would slow average production there from 6.8 million barrels a day to roughly a million barrels for the first two months post-attack, a loss equivalent to approximately one-third of America's current daily consumption of crude oil. Even as long as seven months after an attack, Abqaiq output would still be about 40 percent of pre-attack output, as much as four million barrels below normal—roughly equal to what all of the OPEC partners collectively took out of production during the devastating 1973 embargo" (see Robert Baer's Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold our Soul for Saudi Crude). An al-Qaeda assault on Abqaiq would have the added propaganda effect of killing Americans. Abqaiq is an oil-company town; in 2005, nearly half of its approximately 2,000 inhabitants were U.S. citizens.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-22-2015 at 11:02 PM. Reason: Add Mods Note

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    Default Good catch...

    ... on the timely Jamestown Foundation report.

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    Default The Impact of the Abqaiq Attack on Saudi Energy Security

    Follow-up report from CSIS: The Impact of the Abqaiq Attack on Saudi Energy Security
    It is too early to know the full details of what actually took place at the Abqaiq oil facility in eastern Saudi Arabia, but early reports indicate that an attempted attack was foiled by Saudi security forces on February 24, 2006. The news caused oil prices to jump more than $2 a barrel.

    The reaction of the oil market—that is all too aware of geopolitical, security, and economic risks—is expected. The attack comes amidst continuing instability in Iraq, the uncertainty regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, and the ongoing violence and supply disruption in Nigeria.

    Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer and exporter. It holds 25% of the world’s proven oil reserves (261 billion barrels), produces 12.5% of the world’s oil production (9.0-9.5 million barrels a day), and exports 16% of world’s total exports (7.5 million barrels a day). Furthermore, the Kingdom has the largest surplus oil production capacity (approximately 1.1-1.8 million barrels a day.

    The stability of the global oil market depends not only on the Kingdom’s capacity to meet shortages in oil supply, but also in its ability to reassure the market. In the past, Saudi Arabia has played the role of “swing producer” to meet shortages in supply. Now, the attention is focused on the Kingdom’s ability to meet global oil demand and protect its key oil facilities.

    In the case of Abqaiq, even if some of the facilities were destroyed, Saudi Aramco has claimed that it has backup and redundant facilities to produce at near capacity. The same fears about Saudi energy security arose after the May 2004 attack in Yanbu. During that incident, the Saudi security forces were also able to suppress the attack. The terrorists were quickly killed and the facilities in Yanbu were not in danger. That, however, did not stop speculation about Saudi energy security.

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    The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor, 16 Aug 07:

    Extremist Reeducation and Rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia
    For the past three years, the Saudi government has been quietly engaged in an ambitious strategy to combat violent Islamist extremist sympathies through an innovative prisoner reeducation and rehabilitation program. Following the May 2003 Riyadh compound bombings, the regime adopted a series of security measures to fight Islamist terrorism. In addition to the aggressive counter-terrorism steps taken by the government, Saudi officials have also sought to combat the support of extremist ideology in the kingdom through a series of lesser-known "soft" counter-terrorism measures aimed at combating the appeal of extremist takfiri beliefs. These measures have included a sophisticated hearts and minds campaign consisting of a combination of state-sponsored education programs, coordinated public relations and media efforts and the deployment of the government's considerable religious resources. It is from this background that the reeducation program has emerged. While only three years old, the program was initially kept a secret in order to encourage its success away from media attention. Thus far, it has generated some noteworthy results, and it is now discussed openly and frequently in the Saudi media. The program's structure, process and relative successes, however, are all but unknown in the United States....

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    Saudis arrest 208 men in terror sweep: Arrests ‘pre-empted an imminent attack’ on oil installation, statement says. Associated Press, Nov. 28, 2007

    Hit Abqaiq and/or Ras Tanura, during winter months to maximize effect on the far enemy in the West, and hit the near enemy -- Saudi state. Hit two birds with one stone? Or are they mutually exclusive in AQ thinking?

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    Default Extra Oil Ordered

    Well, I think it's interesting considering I just read that the navy had ordered up four fuel tankers for December as opposed to their usual two/mo. Which was presupposed by the writer to be in relationship to a potential offensive or some operation in the Gulf to intimidate the Iranians.

    However, I wonder if they are simply preparing for a potential shortage based on such intelligence?

    This was open sourced news report. I'll try to find the link.
    Kat-Missouri

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    Default Pro Bombers

    19 May Washington Times - Inside the Ring.

    ... Border officials in Iraq report that few jihadists are crossing into Iraq from Syria to strap on a bomber's vest and kill innocent men, women and children. The reason: better border control and fewer Arab men willing to travel to Iraq to kill democracy.

    But on the southwest border, Saudis continue to use the desert as a pathway to murder. One route takes them to Najaf and the north to Baghdad to meet up with henchmen of al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Musab Zarqawi.

    We are told border guards are surprised at the education level of the Saudis. They include professionals — teachers, doctors, engineers — ready to wear a bomb and walk into a market or mosque before detonating it...

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    Default Saudi, the carrot and the stick ...

    Today, the stick as the Kingdom gets down to trying its backlog of AQ detainees.

    Yahoo News
    Saudi Arabia indicts 991 suspected Al Qaeda militants
    By Caryle Murphy – Wed Oct 22, 4:00 am ET
    ....
    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia has begun the judicial process for putting on trial nearly 1,000 suspected Al Qaeda militants accused of terrorist-related crimes dating back to 2003, the Saudi Interior Minister announced.

    "We have started to bring before the judiciary 991 people implicated in various incidents," Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz told the Saudi Press News Agency late Monday. "Each case will be examined in stages."

    This is the first time the government has disclosed the number of defendants accused in connection with the wave of terrorist violence that hit the nation.
    ......
    Last month, Prince Naif told a group of visitors that the suspects "all will be transferred to the judiciary to give its verdict on them in accordance with what God has ordained to prevent sedition.... We don't punish anybody except on the basis of a court verdict," local papers reported. .....
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20081022/wl_csm/otrials

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    With nearly 50% of foreign fighters going to Iraq being Saudi citizens, and of course 3/4 of the 9/11 attackers, there is clearly a deep-seated disconnect between the people of Saudi Arabia and there Government. There is equally clearly a blame placed upon the United States for that particular situation.

    No number of new prisons or re-education programs are likely to resolve this fundamental problem. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is arguably the Decisive Point for what we call the GWOT. This is not to adocate any type of military operation there, but certainly to suggest that this needs to be at the top of the new President's list for governments that he needs to have a serious heart to heart with. Until we stop supporting this government, we can expect to a target of frustrated young Saudi men who recognize that step one to a successful insurgency at home, is to break the support to that government from abroad. Until the Saudi government implements serious reforms to better serve its populace, it can expect to be the target of those same young men.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    With nearly 50% of foreign fighters going to Iraq being Saudi citizens, and of course 3/4 of the 9/11 attackers, there is clearly a deep-seated disconnect between the people of Saudi Arabia and there Government. There is equally clearly a blame placed upon the United States for that particular situation.

    No number of new prisons or re-education programs are likely to resolve this fundamental problem. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is arguably the Decisive Point for what we call the GWOT. This is not to adocate any type of military operation there, but certainly to suggest that this needs to be at the top of the new President's list for governments that he needs to have a serious heart to heart with. Until we stop supporting this government, we can expect to a target of frustrated young Saudi men who recognize that step one to a successful insurgency at home, is to break the support to that government from abroad. Until the Saudi government implements serious reforms to better serve its populace, it can expect to be the target of those same young men.
    Here, you pick a "wicked problem". Continue support the status quo and risk the almost certain eventual pot boiling over of extremism. Stop supporting, or even attack the status quo, and almost certainly guarantee a new Iran for Wahhabism.

    You'd almost certainly have to engage some pretty radical folks to keep a lid on, with the accompanying danger of supporting folks who will end up attacking you anyway.

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    Absolutely this is complex business. Clearly the Status Quo is a policy that became obsolete with the end of the Cold War that gave birth to it. We need a new, post Cold War policy that helps the populaces of the middle east and their governments evolve. The baggage of our Cold War engagement, and European engagement prior to that; along with the incredible complexity of a Muslim religion that due to Globalization is facing the same type of reformist pressures that threw Christianity and Europe into 250 years of violence and upheaval (1450-1700), it is a mine field.

    We need to extricate ourselves from being overly engaged directly, and get into more of a mediator role to help guide what could be an incredibly explosive transition. It will call for brand new policies, new thinking, and a major suppressant of our urge to CONTROL the process, and instead simply guide it so that our own national interests to not get trampled in the chaos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Absolutely this is complex business. Clearly the Status Quo is a policy that became obsolete with the end of the Cold War that gave birth to it. We need a new, post Cold War policy that helps the populaces of the middle east and their governments evolve. The baggage of our Cold War engagement, and European engagement prior to that; along with the incredible complexity of a Muslim religion that due to Globalization is facing the same type of reformist pressures that threw Christianity and Europe into 250 years of violence and upheaval (1450-1700), it is a mine field.

    We need to extricate ourselves from being overly engaged directly, and get into more of a mediator role to help guide what could be an incredibly explosive transition. It will call for brand new policies, new thinking, and a major suppressant of our urge to CONTROL the process, and instead simply guide it so that our own national interests to not get trampled in the chaos.
    The key issue is control. I sincerely doubt it is possible for our polity, or military decision-makers to NOT dominate and attempt to control anything within their purview.

    So, the question is, schto delyat? What do we do, going forward, in the imperfect nature of our system?

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default An update on slow justice

    Hat tip to LWOT:
    Saudi Arabia on January 8 began the trial of 16 suspected members of al-Qaeda accused of killing a policeman, plotting to attack government officials and military weapons facilities, smuggling weapons and training militants to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Reuters). The suspects are just a few of several thousand arrested in the Kingdom's clampdown on militancy between 2003 and 2006, of whom most have already faced trial according to the Saudi government, though human rights groups disagree and have said the government continues to hold thousands of political prisoners under the pretense of militancy.
    Link to Reuters report:http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...80708W20120108

    Link to LWOT briefing, KSA is just one item:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...nse_in_florida
    davidbfpo

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    Default Wikileaks adds more embarrassment: About hearts & minds in Saudi Arabia

    WikiLeaks cables: Jihad? Sorry, I don't want to miss Desperate Housewives


    The leak is incredibly embarrassing to the government, but that embarrassment looks largely well-deserved because the government is overrated.
    Last edited by Fuchs; 12-09-2010 at 04:49 PM.

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    Default Saudis to build 1k border fence

    A slightly odd BBC report, by Frank Gardner, who is in Saudi Arabia - where he was shot and crippled in 2004. This report starts with 'Saudis build 1,000-mile Yemen border fence', a 'Morice Line' again:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22086938

    His first report aims to:
    ..to unpick why the Arab Spring has not happened in the Kingdom.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22050745

    On SWC we have debated whether a fence or 'Morice Line' can work and in a variety of settings: French ruled Algeria (where the Morice Line was built), Rhodesia and Afghanistan. Not to overlook the US-Mexico border. Link:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ghlight=morice

    The Saudis of course have what other builders did not, money and more money.

    Whether a fence is enough of an answer to the pressures within Saudi Arabia is a moot point. See thread on internal troubles:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=16968
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-10-2013 at 01:04 PM.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    The Saudis of course have what other builders did not, money and more money.
    Which is the important point. Because Saudi defense/security procurement are enrichment mechanisms for Saudi royals, middlemen and various western lackeys – first. Actual needs of state, second.

    A certain % of deals goes to commissions and kickbacks – so the incentive is to run-up the biggest bill possible. And then they cant operate, service or maintain any of the equipment – so that is a new contract, and new round of kickbacks.

    Problems occur when a contract is too small for a kickback – so some particular items are not even purchased. Items like air-filters for tanks – small line item on a budget, but you cant operate tanks in the desert without them.

    I have no doubt that this wall will include billions in techno-crap.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

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    SA firm Denel in Saudi drone deal - South Africa's arms manufacturer Denel appears intent on selling missile-carrying drone aircraft to Saudi Arabia, by Phillip De Wet. Mail & Guardian (South Africa), 05 Apr 2013.
    According to a respected specialist newsletter, Intelligence Online, engineers from the Denel Dynamics division are working with the Saudi military to create an armed version of the Seeker 400 drone, which Denel has marketed for surveillance use. Such drones, Intelligence Online says, would be capable of carrying Denel Dynamics' Mokopa or Impi missiles.

    The Mokopa is an anti-tank missile touted for its accuracy and the Impi is intended as a multipurpose missile that can carry smaller anti-personnel payloads. The latter was developed specifically for use with lightweight aircraft.

    The Seeker 400 has a range of up to 250km, putting many Middle Eastern hot spots within range of units based in Saudi Arabia. But the primary target for Seeker missions is expected to be strikes on suspected terrorists similar to the US's infamous strikes in Pakistan. The craft can be operated for more than 16 hours at a time, making it capable of "loiter and strike" missions.
    Related? Seems a natural compliment to a border wall; plus a possible strike capability into Yemen.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    The fence project is an interesting sign of how the relationship between Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the Yemen has developed. For decades KSA has sought to maintain some control in Yemen, principally by subsides and bribes to many individuals, tribes and others. Now a fence is needed, has this influence evaporated?

    I suspect that no Saudi will actually work on building the fence, although IIRC most Yemeni were expelled after the invasion of Kuwait.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Moderator's Note

    Posts 22-26 were in a stand alone thread 'Saudis to build 1k border fence' until today and have been merged into this main thread (ends).


    Saudi–Yemen barrier
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi%E...3Yemen_barrier


    It's not so much a fence as it is a barrier against vehicles, and it's not only about immigration but also about marking the somewhat disputed border.


    ICE Case Studies
    Number 197, Nov., 2006
    Saudi Arabia - Yemen Border Dispute
    By Chris Murphy
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-18-2013 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Add Mod's Note after merging

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    Recently posted by Debka.com

    Disturbances sweep across E. Saudi oil region
    Despite the news blackout imposed by Riyadh, DEBKAfile reports widespread riots and clashes have been sweeping the oil-rich Eastern Provinces of Saudi Arabia between Shiite demonstrators and security forces, leaving unknown numbers of dead and wounded.
    I have no idea if this is an accurate report, but if it is then it is very important and relevant to the ongoing region wide ethnic war between Shiite and Sunnis.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-07-2013 at 07:06 PM. Reason: Copied from the wider thread The Arab World

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