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Web site: Al Qaeda carried out Saudi bombing

From Caroline Faraj
CNN

Unclaimed Jordanian passports and a Koran collected by police at the scene of the Riyadh blast.
Unclaimed Jordanian passports and a Koran collected by police at the scene of the Riyadh blast.

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(CNN) -- Al Qaeda was responsible for last weekend's deadly bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, according to a group's statement on a Web site that intelligence sources say is affiliated with the terror network.

Saudi authorities said Saturday's blast killed 17 people and wounded 122. The victims were mostly Arabs, according to Saudi authorities and residents of the neighborhood, who spoke to CNN.

In a lengthy statement posted on the Web site, Mohammed al-Massari, representing a group called CDLR -- thought to be sympathetic to al Qaeda -- said the terrorist group disputes that it hit the wrong target and claims the compound was targeted because it is rented by people working for the FBI and that some victims were American, French and German.

The statement conflicts with information given to CNN by Saudi government sources. Those sources said a person in Saudi custody told investigators that al Qaeda made a mistake -- that it believed it was targeting a neighborhood housing Americans, and didn't realize most of the victims would be Arabs.

Adel Al-Jubeir, adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, said he is convinced al Qaeda was purposely attacking fellow Muslims.

But the person writing as al-Massari questioned why such a large number of security forces would be guarding an Arab neighborhood, unless it was affiliated with the United States.

His statement also puts the death toll much higher than that which has been officially reported -- saying at least 87 people were killed in the blast, including 55 residents, 30 Saudi security forces and two militants.

It describes, step-by-step, how the insurgents carried out the attack, using two vehicles stolen from Saudi security forces, and said there were three explosions -- the first blasting through the main gate, allowing access for the two vehicles that detonated inside the compound.

Fifteen took part in attack

Fifteen militants took part in the attack, most of them gunmen on a nearby hill who opened fire on the Saudi security guards at the main gate, before the initial blast, according to the statement.

The statement hailed the attack as a success, compared with the May 12 triple car bombings that killed 23 people, plus the 12 bombers, at three complexes housing Westerners in Riyadh.

It said the terrorists had support from the Saudi military because of previous attacks, and that is how they were able to acquire the military vehicles used in the attacks.

The statement also criticizes Saudi's interior minister, saying he is using excessive force, as well as manipulating the media to ruin al Qaeda's reputation by accusing the group of killing their "brothers and sisters of Islam," as well as children.

Al Qaeda has long opposed the Saudi royal family and has repeatedly called on Muslims to reject Saudi leadership.

Statement blames Saudi authorites for Mecca blast

The statement blames Saudi authorities for recently staging an explosion in Mecca, and blaming it on the terrorist network.

Two days before the Riyadh attacks, Saudi authorities reported two suicide bombers detonated themselves in the Muslim holy city.

A government spokesman referred to the Nov. 6 incident as evidence that al Qaeda has been targeting fellow Muslims in Mecca.

"If their intent is to kill Americans, it doesn't answer the question as why are they involved in activities in Mecca," Nail Al-Jubeir told CNN.

"Why do they have bomb factories in the holy city of Mecca that only Muslims go to? Why do they have traps in Mecca?"


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