Continued from page 1

The terrorists’ main goal was to overthrow the monarchy in the oil-rich kingdom, according to security files reviewed by the Jedda newspaper Okaz.

Al Qaeda’s Saudi nationwide branch was made up of a commander, a military leader, a financial officer and a weapons official, the March 30 report stated.

“The principal cells were managed by trained leading members of the terrorist organization, who subscribed to the ideology of terrorist al Qaeda organization leader, the irredeemable Osama bin Laden, while the other elements were members recruited within Saudi Arabia, and who were subjected to intensive training to carry out the terrorist schemes given to them by the commanders of the cell, and originally from [bin Laden],” the report stated.

The cells were spread around the kingdom in several regions and cities. They included the capital Riyadh, an eastern region cell, a Medina cell, a Mecca cell, an al Qasim cell, north and south cells, and cells located in neighboring United Arab Emirates, Oman and Kuwait.

Saudi security described the cells as taking two forms: Secret action groups in cities and less-organized groups of fighters located in remote regions.

The city cells were divided into four sections:Two-man command groups in charge of recruiting, training, secure communications and selecting targets and planning attacks directed from al Qaeda leaders.Information-gathering groups in charge of reconnaissance made up of four or fewer members who cased targets and reported on security related to the attack locations.Technical and administrative preparation groups of four or fewer terrorists with the mission of preparing for attack operations, provision of weapons, the use of secure houses, buying and smuggling weapons and renting houses and cars.Implementation teams whose membership varied depending on the size of the operation.

The information was obtained by the Saudis from interrogations and confessions from captured al Qaeda members, including those who worked with bin Laden. A key criteria for membership was strictly obeying orders from the group’s leaders.

Key targets of the group included Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, the key to the kingdom’s wealth, along with assassination cells that targeted officials.

Saudi Arabia since 2001 has been hit with 140 terrorist attacks that killed 145 security officials, citizens and residents while wounding 674 people, the report said.

POST, N.Y. TIMES MISS SCOOPS

Evidence that two top U.S. newspapers missed a major scoop surfaced during the recent trial of Pvt. Bradley Manning, charged with leaking some 250,000 military and government documents, many of the them classified, to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Manning pleaded guilty Feb. 28 to 10 of 22 charges leveled against him, not including a charge of aiding the enemy.

Manning’s court statement reveals that both the New York Times and Washington Post rejected his offer of the documents, something observers say was in sharp contrast to both newspapers’ past reputation for aggressive news reporting.

The former military intelligence analyst’s statement to a military court dated Jan. 29 said he was first rebuffed by a female Post reporter in early 2010.

“I asked her if the Washington Post would be interested in receiving information that would have enormous value to the American public,” he stated, noting that after a five-minute talk “I do not believe she took me seriously.”

Story Continues →