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Saudi Militants Hitting Westerners, Not Oil posted on 05/30/04
The terrorist strike in al-Khobar appears to be more ominous than recent similar strikes in Saudi Arabia. It resembles the May 1 attack on western oil workers in Yanbu, but was more elaborate and more deadly.
The attackers were organized and they seem to have prepared extensively. They wore uniforms of the Saudi National Guard, which is responsible for security at residential compounds of foreign workers, and they drove vehicles with military markings. They successfully struck multiple targets and managed to fight off security forces for a considerable period of time. They took hostages, rigged their location with explosives, and all but one gunman reportedly escaped a siege by Saudi commandos on the sixth floor of a high-rise building.
Based on a statement attributed to its planners, the primary aim was to lash out at westerners who work in the Saudi oil industry and drive them out of the Arabian Penninsula. This motivation is corroborated by the attackers' behavior. For example, this is the second recent incident in which a foreign worker's body was reportedly tied to a vehicle and dragged through the streets by militants, a tactic clearly meant to terrorize and strike fear into the hearts of foreigners living in the kingdom.
MARKET-FLASH Advisory Services is a boutique consulting firm specializing in global political risk and its effects on oil and financial markets.It's one thing to be alarmist in the name of selling your goods and services, which is ghoulish enough.
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To warrant the lead spot at a "news" site like Google News borders on downright scary. Pity anyone who took this as real news. Google needs a spankin' here.
Give 'em one. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CLARIFICATION: Some folks have e-mailed me chastising me that I shouldn't object to the story strictly because it's not in line with my way of thinking. That's not the point at all. Otherwise, I'd be calling for a LOT of spankings.
My objection is the actual source itself - an obvious commerce site which is specifically selling a service. Google News adding this to its news crawler is like using eBay as one of their sources. Can you imagine a Google News headline leading the page, "Lose 40 Pounds by July!" and the story links to one of 10,000 eBay auctions for carb blockers? This is the same thing - posting a story meant to foster fear and to sell their services. Had it come from Fox, Reuters, Buzzflash, WaPo, NewsMax or anywhere else - no problem. Hope I cleared that up.