Saudis: Four detainees have links to al Qaeda, attacks
Three bombers said to have been part of terrorist network
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) -- Four people believed to be linked to the al Qaeda terrorist network have been detained in connection with last week's deadly terror attacks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Interior minister said.
Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz said each had prior knowledge of the bombings.
U.S. officials have said they also believe al Qaeda was behind the nearly simultaneous bombings last Monday at three residential compounds that killed 25 people, including eight Americans, in addition to the nine suspected bombers.
The prince said three of the nine bombers who participated in the attacks have been identified. Saudi foreign policy adviser Adel al-Jubeir told CNN that those identified "were part of an al Qaeda cell that we came very close to apprehending."
The bombers who have been identified were among 19 people listed by the Saudi government in a dispatch earlier this month, Abdulaziz said. The dispatch said it was seeking the men -- all but two of them Saudi citizens -- on suspicion of planning a terrorist incident.
The notice was released after authorities uncovered a cache of weapons and explosives in Riyadh that Saudi officials said was tied to al Qaeda.
Appearing on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer," al-Jubeir said, "All indications are that this was an al Qaeda operation."
President Bush said Friday that the Riyadh attacks gave many people around the world a "wake-up call" that the war on terror continues. From the White House, Bush said the attacks were a reminder that the United States is "still at war."
"The best way to secure the future of the American people is to find the killers before they strike us, and that's what we're doing inside Saudi Arabia," Bush said.
Bush blamed "a group we think is al Qaeda" for the attacks.
Although the United States has "brought to justice about half the key al Qaeda operatives," Bush said, some still remain at large. "We'll have them, one at a time."
But a U.S. official told CNN on Friday, "It is starting to feel a lot like the summer of 2001," when the U.S. intelligence community was "hearing a lot of chatter about a big attack. ... It's a scary time."
"There is a surprising level in al Qaeda communication, and we are learning a lot more about al Qaeda and the potential links to cells out there that we didn't know previously existed," the official said. Although the attacks could come anywhere, the biggest areas of concern are East Asia -- particularly Indonesia and Malaysia -- as well as East Africa and the Persian Gulf region, the official said.
On Thursday, the U.S. State Department warned of an unconfirmed report of a possible terrorist attack planned in a Western neighborhood of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The threat specifically mentioned Jeddah's Al Hamra district, an area in which some U.S. consular workers and their families live. Those families have "relocated to different quarters." Jeddah is about 525 miles [840 kilometers] west of Riyadh. (Full story)