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Saudi Police Foil Airliner Attack

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Old December 28th, 2003, 02:40 AM
Fly Guy
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Default Saudi Police Foil Airliner Attack


Report: Saudi Police Foil Airliner Attack
Saturday, December 27, 2003; 6:52 PM

By Peter Graff

LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi security forces have seized light planes
packed with explosives near Riyadh's King Khalid airport, foiling a
plot by suicide pilots to blow up a Western airliner on the runway, a
British newspaper said on Sunday.

Two pilots apparently intended to crash their light planes into a
Western jet as it taxied slowly on the tarmac, the Mail on Sunday
quoted Patrick Mercer, homeland security policy chief for Britain's
opposition Conservative Party as saying.

"My understanding is that (the light planes) were found on the flight
line and that the plan was to fly them into a passenger jet either
about to land or take off," Mercer told the paper.

The two pilots were among several people arrested after the planes
were discovered some time in the past few weeks, the paper said.

It said British Airways was believed to be the most likely target,
although several other European carriers also use the airport.

A BA spokesman said the airline had no knowledge of the incident
described in the paper.

"We are in regular contact with the Saudi authorities and the British
government and we wouldn't fly unless it was completely safe to do
so," a spokesman said. "We haven't changed our flights to or from
Saudi Arabia."

BA suspended flights to the oil-rich Gulf kingdom in August citing a
security threat, but the airline resumed flying the following month
after a review.

Mercer was not available to elaborate on his remarks and the British
Foreign Office said it was not aware of the incident.

Britain and the United States have both warned of possible threats to
Western aviation targets in Saudi Arabia over the past few months.

Saudi Arabia, birthplace of suspected September 11, 2001, mastermind
Osama bin Laden, has seen a wave of strikes by militants this year,
including major suicide bombings at housing compounds in May and
November that killed more than 50 people.

Police and militants have had frequent shootouts. The government has
rounded up hundreds of suspects and says it has seized massive caches
of explosives and weapons.
Old December 31st, 2003, 05:20 AM
Adam Weiss
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Default Saudi Police Foil Airliner Attack

The article doesn't say whether or not the Saudis put those whom they
arrested in jail.

I'd suspect they just revoked their citizenship and put them on a bus to
the border. The terrorists are probably headed to Iran or Libya now.
This is the story of osama binladen - instead of jailing him as they
should they just exiled him - out of sight out of mind.


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