2006 News Story

Ambassador Jordan comments on foiled Abqaiq attack on Fox News

Former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan discussed last week's thwarted Saudi oil facility bombing and the questions it raised about the Al-Qaeda's goals in an interview with Fox News' Bridgette Quinn Tuesday.  

Jordan said that the Saudi media is accurately portraying the foiled attack “as a triumph of the Saudi security officers and the security measures they’ve been taking for the last three years.”

He speculated that a militant arrested during a raid Monday in connection with the Abqaiq attack may provide useful information on Al-Qaeda and growing notions that the failed plot reflects an increasingly frustrated bin Laden.

“They undoubtedly have other relationships, contacts and networks that could be probed,” he said. “I think a forensic study that may be done on the scene of the incident will also be very important. We could find out what kind of explosives were used, perhaps where they came from, and there may be other clues derived from that investigation.” 

When asked to comment on Osama bin Laden, Jordan explained that about a year ago the Al-Qaeda leader called for attacks on the Kingdom’s oil fields. “I think it's somewhat surprising it took this long to actually launch an attack. [Bin Laden] clearly wants to bring down the Saudi monarchy but I doubt he expects to have an intact economy or an oil base for himself to take over.”

Citing Saudi opinion polls, Ambassador Jordan remarks that while “Bin Laden is viewed as someone advancing a cause, he’s not very popular as a leader in Saudi Arabia.”