DUBAI — An attempt on the life of Saudi Deputy Minister of the Interior Prince Mohamed Bin Nayef is the latest in a series of failed Al-Qaeda operations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates in recent weeks.
The assassination attempt reflects Al-Qaeda’s frustration over the success the prince has had in steering young people away from dissident fundamentalism through the Ministry’s rehabilitation programmes, which emphasise underlying Islamic principles of tolerance and the repudiation of violence. The programme also assists former fundamentalist insurgents re-enter society. Since he assumed a leadership position in the Saudi security forces, Prince Mohammed has been responsible for restructuring programmes to challenge the terrorists, who have carried out a series of bombings in the kingdom since 2002. He played a prominent role in exposing and dismantling several terrorist networks and thwarting their operations. His successes prompted King Abdullah to extend his authority as Assistant Interior Minister and grant him the authority of a Minister.
Prior to the assassination attempt in Saudi Arabia, an attempt to bomb a station belonging to the Vitol Petroleum Company in Fujairah in the UAE also failed. The Swiss-Dutch partnership is a major regional player, with operations in the UAE and Iran.
Reports indicate that one of Osama Bin Laden’s sons was behind the failed operation. Apparently a four-member cell planned to attack Vitol in Fujairah. Stringent security measures surrounding sensitive installations in the UAE, however, led to the arrest of the men before they could conduct their attack.
In Kuwait, security forces broke up a terrorist cell in August that had been plotting to attack American military bases, a local security station and oil installations.