Zubayr al-Rimi Dies in Saudi Shootout
Blood and bullets littered the halls Wednesday of a Saudi apartment building where a shootout with security forces left three suspected militants dead, including an al-Qaida suspect wanted by the United States. The hours-long gunfight with suspects armed with automatic rifles and hand grenades ended Tuesday afternoon after Saudi security forces stormed the three-story housing complex for hospital employees in Jizan, 600 miles south of the capital, Riyadh. At least one security officer also died and two suspected militants were arrested, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. One of the Saudi men killed was Sultan Jubran Sultan al-Qahtani, also known as Zubayr al-Rimi. The FBI issued a bulletin Sept. 5 saying it was searching worldwide for al-Rimi, another Saudi, a Moroccan and a Tunisian in connection with possible terrorist threats against the United States. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described al-Rimi as the chief deputy of Abu Bakr al-Azdi, the former top al-Qaida man in Saudi Arabia who surrendered to Saudi authorities on June 26.
So he returned home to die, thatâs nice of him.
Al-Rimiâs name appears on a Saudi list of militants connected to May 12 suicide bombings in Riyadh that killed 35 people, including the nine attackers, according to a Saudi Interior Ministry official. Saudi officials have said the 19 were in contact with al-Qaida. At least 11 of the 19 have been killed or arrested. Tuesdayâs police raid was intended to capture militants planning a terror attack, according to an official statement on Saudi state television.
Which you can believe or not.
Security officials initially said the gunmen had taken several foreign hostages at King Fahd Hospital. The Interior Ministry statement and later television reports did not mention hostages, but Al-Jazeera televisionâs Web site said all hostages were released. The building in which the shootout occurred was part of a complex housing about 3,000 foreigners - mostly from the Indian subcontinent, the Philippines and the Far East - as well as Saudis. "We have a big terrorism problem in our country and I donât know how weâre going to solve it," Hussein Ahmed, a 24-year-old taxi driver in Jizan, said. "All we hear about is people dying. We donât feel safe in our own homeland."
Good, now do something about it.
Jizan had been a site of earlier sweeps in the anti-terror crackdown. Saudi officials said in May they had confiscated weapons here. Jizan is near Saudi Arabiaâs porous, 1,116-mile border with Yemen, a tribal country where illegal arms trading is rampant. Since May 12, Yemen and Saudi Arabia have set up joint border patrols and exchanged intelligence and suspects in a unified anti-terror campaign.
|Zubayr's the guy who was issuing the communiques around the time of the Riyadh attacks. Before he became a corpse, he said: |
"We have prepared ourselves to break your backs, and pull your nails, and your teeth, so that after kicking you (the Americans and the Saudi Dynasty) from the Arabian Peninsula wretchedly, we would lead a prosperous life in our motherland, according to the rules of Islam." Worked well, didn't it?
Posted by: Steve 2003-09-24