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Explosions & Gunfire - Expat Compounds - Riyadh
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12085
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 10:56 am    Post subject: worrying Reply with quote

Worrying the whole thing. The worst case scenario is a gradual Algerianisation of the whole refgion. Of course even then you will have looneys saying "Algeria sounds great. I have a right to go and TEFL there."

Over on the Africa forum there is some bozo telling us that Kinshasa in the DRC (formerly Zaire) is quite safe. He has never been there but he knows it is okay and just wants the e-mail contact of a cool language school. Shheeeesh !
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Pilot in Command



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark100,

Thank you for that very specific information. Would you feel comfortable revealing the name of the compound where your colleagues were housed? Were they in the same compound?

I was sitting at the gate at the airport in Atlanta waiting to board my flight to DC for a physical regarding an offer to teach in Riyadh when the first breaking news came over the CNN airport network. It was surreal.

By the way, this company's compound was one of those hit on Monday.

I see that our government is already trying to spin this tragedy, with Powell emphasizing that terrorism is a threat to Americans anywhere in the world. What a non-statement! The point is that NOW it is happening in Saudi Arabia, so let's just face it and respond accordingly! That consistent government spin when it comes to the Saudis really ticks me off.

Anyway, I met with reps of the company following the physical...they wouldn't take me to their corporate office, but met me for lunch at a hotel instead. I've decided to keep all my paperwork until they are in a position to provide answers to my questions. Then I'll deicde, but it's not looking good, folks!

My condolences go out to the victims and families of those who survived and to the families of those who didn't. What tragic times we live in.

My prayers go out for the safety of all you folks who are there now.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12085
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 2:38 pm    Post subject: vinnell Reply with quote

According to the Aran News, Vinnell Corporation was one of the targets. They supply teachers and trainers for the National Guard.

Pandora's Box may have been opened. Will we see an Algerianisation of the whole Rregion ? I hope and pray not.
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travellingscot



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 64
Location: UK/Eastern Europe

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 3:27 pm    Post subject: Hope this helps Reply with quote

Media here in UK said today that the daughter of a P.E. teacher was slightly injured and a teacher of French,German and Spanish was also slightly injured.Only these UK citizens have been mentioned and named so far in our media.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12292
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 3:11 am    Post subject: Is denial starting to dry up? Reply with quote

Out of evil, perhaps can come some good. One of the most widespread attitudes in the Kingdom for so long has been a " denial mentality: " Oh no, not us; we're special here. ". Even after the government finally and reluctantly " officially acknowledged " that 15 of the 19 terrorists involved in the WTC terrorism were Saudis, the newspapers here continued to use the term " allegedly Saudis " to describe them. But here are a couple of lnks to the web site of the Arab News - the first is a columnist's article and the second is the editorial. It may be a small step, but perhaps that state of denial is beginning to loosen its grip:

http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=26166&ArY=2003&ArM=5&ArD=14



http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=26165&ArY=2003&ArM=5&ArD=14


Regards,
John
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why does Saudi Arabia produce so many terrorists?

Until after the 9-11 attack in NYC, I actually didn't realize how many of them were in fact from KSA.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12292
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 7:39 am    Post subject: Some possible reasons why Reply with quote

Dear Sunpower,
Well, there are perhaps many reasons. Some that come to mind are: 1. the influence of Wahabi-ism, which can be heard in the preaching in the mosques and in the teaching in the schools. Not in all mosques and schools, but in far too many; 2. the self-image of the Kingdom as a " special place ", the " heartland of Islam " and the homeland of the two most sacred sites, Makkah and Medina; 3. the resentment against the government, especially among young men, far too many of whom are unemployed ( and, perhaps, unemployable ). Saudiization is a joke; too many young Saudis have unrealisitc expectations. They want to start at the top and would never consider actually working; 4. this ties in with resentment against the Westerners here, many of whom are making a lot more money than many Saudis are, those who ARE working, that is. If I think of any others, I'll be back.
Regards,
John
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Nomad Dan



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 145
Location: Myanmar

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 2:19 am    Post subject: Inshallah you will be safe...but... Reply with quote

Where will they hit next? They will hit again, don't you reckon?... I

have always been amazed that there haven't been more attempts on the Ras Tanura Refinery as they would cause quite a boom and disrupt things. I have worked around the refinery and other Aramco locations....I have seen the guards enjoying their dates and coffee. It didn't APPEAR that it would require a SWAT team to take them over and create havoc...And the compound where I used to live was totally open. Oh, there was a security presence, but nothing formidable (this was mostly at Euro Village Compound in Al Khobar. You guys and gals over there keep your powder dry.

I was depressed because I was going to go back to Saudi to teach as an Aramcon, but the deal fell through last August. I don't feel so badly about it now. I was heading for Udhailiyah. Oh well.

I have been robbed twice here in Big D (Dallas Texas) but nobody has tried to blow me up yet. I was NEVER robbed in Saudi btw, I understand that it is illegal to rob people there... Laughing

Take care,
Nomad Dan
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12292
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 3:01 am    Post subject: Who knows? Not me. Reply with quote

Dear Nomad Dan,
The oil fields/refineries would seem to be a likely target - on the other hand, these bozos appear to be more interested in killing " infidels " ( with unavoidable " collateral damage " to believers ) and also seem to be more " urban orientated ". Another hit or at least attempt is, I'd say, pretty likely, although the government's " heightened awareness " now MAY make this more difficult. As for being robbed, well, I had my 350 Honda stolen from me ( from inside a walled yard with a " haris " supposedly on duty - and it was locked and chained ) in Jeddah. The Saudis were very solicitious about my loss - " It must have been some foreigner ", was their explanation. " Like myself, you mean ", was my reply.
Regards,
John
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Nomad Dan



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 145
Location: Myanmar

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

....Hmm. June Carter Cash passed away and the Spurs have dethroned the Lakers for any American expats out there. Go Spurs and go Mavericks!

( I was drinking in this pub in Goa India once and this British gentleman and I spent half an hour discussing the SPURS...We eventually figured out that while he was talking "football" I was talking basketball....The wonders of Kingfisher beer!)

The story is playing out in the Dallas Morning News this way about the attacks:

The US ambassador to KSA has basically lambasted the Saudi authorities for not taking enough preventitive measures in order stop what happened...The Bush administration seems to be trying to downplay this by saying that the Saudi authorities have been nothing but cooperative, but I am smelling a "strained relation"coming down. The ambassador has been quite vocal after this. One of the Americans killed was a Defense Manual writer...ex-Army from Texas. He was 35 and was trying to make enough money for a home and a college education for his 14 year old daughter.

Just a dose of what is being said in the heartland
Nomad Dan
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12292
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 5:01 am    Post subject: A diplomat telling the truth? Strange times, indeed. Reply with quote

Dear Nomad Dan,
There's no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the ambassador's right - though it does surprise me he's being so, well, undiplomatic ( i.e. telling the truth ). The Saudis, Prince Naif in particular, are MOST disinclined to even admit there IS a problem ( and, if there is, well, it CAN'T be real Saudis who are involved ) and they are so secretive and paranoid that I'm certain they were of very little help indeed in previous investigations. I'll bet the FBI agents that were sent over here after the Al Khobar bombing could tell some incredible stories about all the " cooperation " they got from the local " intelligence " services. Naif, by the way, is the one who, at late as about six months ago, was still saying that the WTC terrorism was really a " Jewish plot ". The " security " at those compounds was decidedly inferior - they were cutting corners to save a few riyals. After all, what bad things could ever happen here in the Kingdom? The only good that may come out of this is that some Saudis in the media are starting to admit that there ARE problems and that they haven't been addressed ( see my posting of May 15th ). But there seems to be a pretty big exodus going on now - no surprise there - and some are reconsidering their plans to " stay another year ".
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Nomad Dan



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 145
Location: Myanmar

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like Jeddah is a heavy favorite for a strike. Take care over there. Here in North Texas the tornadoes are keeping us at "heightened alert"
Nomad dan
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12292
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 1:02 pm    Post subject: If it's not one thing . . . . Reply with quote

Dear Nomad Dan,
Well, I guess we all have our hazards to look out for - you've got Tornado Alley and we've got Terrorist Ali ( and friends ). Hope we all manage to
avoid the whirlwinds.
Regards,
John
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nimra_ghalat



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found it interesting that some of the princes are "admitting" that Al-Qaida may be behind the recent bombings. I guess that's their way of getting out of admitting that they may have a lot more popular discontent on their hands than they want the world to know about. (Similar to Colin Powell's statement about terrorism happening anywhere and everywhere.) In Central Asia, terrorists are always labeled "Wahhabis"; now Saudi Arabia can avoid criticism by pulling the "Al-Qaida" card. I guess this gets the Shiites, the usual suspects, off the hook, though.

In reference to bombing petroleum plants, there was a bombing at a plant in Jubail in 1989 that burned for over a week. (Local) Shiites were blamed and they were rounded up en masse, with two finally "caught" and convicted. Since then they haven't hired Shiites and others were demoted from positions of authority.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12292
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear nimra_ghalat,
I don't know - it seems to me that a lot of Wahabis COULD be Al-Quaeda -and vice versa. Also, I doubt whether a Moslem's being a Shi'ite is going to give him immunity from suspicion in this - or any possible following - " incidents ".
Regards,
John
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