Saudi crown prince condemns attacks
Prince: It was the act of 'monsters'
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) -- Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Tuesday condemned the previous night's simultaneous terror attacks as the work of "monsters," and vowed to "destroy" the terrorist group that carried out the bombings.
"All the Saudi people will be confronting those criminals and killers," Abdullah said in a six-minute address to the nation. "There is no place for terror, but there is a place for decisive deterrence against them and to any ideology that feeds them."
The car bombings ripped through three residential compounds housing Americans and other Westerners, killing 20 people, including seven Americans and seven Saudis, and wounding nearly 200 others. Nine terrorists also were believed to have perished in the attacks.
Abdullah accused a "few that are deviant" of trying to destabilize the country and region.
"If those killers, those criminals believe that their bloody criminal acts will shake even one hair off the body of our nation and its unity, then they are deceiving themselves," he said.
Abdullah said the attacks "proved again that the terrorists are criminals, are blood thirsty, and devoid of all of the Islamic values and human values."
"They're like monsters that are pursuing bloodshed and terrorizing innocent people," he said.
Citing the Quran, he said there is no justification for such murderous acts.
"Those people will have a destiny that is very harsh in hellfire," Abdullah said.
Speaking to Saudi citizens and its "honored guests," the crown prince said the country is "awake and working hard to protect them."
He also issued a stern warning for those who might incite further violence: "We are not only warning those who would try to find justification for these shameful crimes in the religion. We say whoever commits those acts becomes a true partner of the killers and should face the same destiny they face."
While not naming the specific group behind Monday's attacks, he vowed to "destroy this small group -- this band -- and those who support it."
"God willing, after that, this group will not be able to stand up again," Abdullah said.
Saudi and U.S. officials have said the bombings have the earmarks of al Qaeda -- the terror group led by Saudi exile Osama bin Laden.
In Washington, a senior U.S. official involved in national security affairs said the statement by the Saudi crown prince was "the strongest thing we have ever seen from them." This official voiced hope it was a sign the Saudis "personal pain" would lead them to closer cooperation with the United States.
The official said the crown prince's direct statement that the attacks could not be justified under Islam or through the Quran was "a major positive" and "a very important signal from the Saudis."
This official suggested the fact that Saudis were killed in the attacks might have something to do with tough rhetoric from the crown prince.
"These people didn't just attack outsiders -- they shot their way through Saudis and killed Saudis as part of these acts and that appears to have added to the power of how they are interpreting this."