Saudis arrest 5 linked to attack on oil facility

/ Source: The Associated Press

Saudi authorities arrested five suspected terrorists linked to February’s deadly attack on the world’s largest oil processing facility, a security official said Tuesday.

One of those arrested is on the country’s list of 36 most-wanted terrorist suspects, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. He did not identify that suspect.

Militants driving two vehicles packed with explosives tried to enter the Abqaiq oil processing facility in eastern Saudi Arabia on Feb. 24. Guards opened fire on the vehicles and they exploded, killing the two suicide attackers and two guards.

The attack affected global oil markets because Abqaiq processes most of the kingdom’s crude, making it suitable for export at the nearby Gulf terminals. The kingdom is the world’s largest producer of oil.

In late March, the kingdom said it had arrested 40 suspected al-Qaida members, including eight connected to the Abqaiq attack.

Saudi Arabia launched an aggressive anti-terrorism campaign in May 2003 after suicide bombers linked to al-Qaida attacked three residential compounds in the capital, Riyadh.

Hundreds have been detained in the campaign, which has managed to capture or kill most of those named on two most-wanted lists.

Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaida network.