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Saudi attempted assassination: the bum bomb 9, September 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Saudi Arabia.
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At the end of August Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, the Saudi head of counter-terrorism, was slightly injured when a suicide bomber made an attempt on his life. Part of Nayef’s role is to make, propagate and extend contacts with the more radical elements in Saudi and receive ‘former’ terrorists who come to him to give themselves up, rather than be hunted down by the Saudi security forces.

Reports of this attack were exceedingly sketchy initially. The bomber apparently got into the Prince’s compound and ever near the Prince himself without impediment. When the bomb was detonated the bomber was, according to various reports, blown into countless pieces. This insinuates that the explosives on him must have been quite powerful. Yet the question remained of how did he get so close to the Prince with so much explosives. Whilst the Saudis were celebrating Ramadan, surely security was not that lax that a prime target of Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula would be so poorly guarded.

It transpires – or rather the Saudi Gazette is reporting – that the bomber had secreted the explosives in himself, as in up his rectum. Apparently he had anywhere up to half a kilogram of explosives inside himself. Yet, despite this, the Prince only suffered from a small cut on his face and an injured finger. One can only surmise that the typical stuffed couch and the bombers body proved to be significantly dampening. What an ignominious way to go.

It raises a few interesting questions about security from now on. Did this failed attack sufficiently show that such tactics simply do not work? Or will terrorists see this as but a failed trial and keep on trying? For if this is the case then it could be decidedly more uncomfortable going to visit a Saudi Prince from now on.

See: The Mideasti blog for an excellent round up of the coverage on this topic.