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Saudi Arabia Links Riyadh Bombing to Al-Qaida - 2003-06-07

For the first time, Saudi Arabia's interior minister has linked last month's bombing in the capital, Riyadh, to the al-Qaida terrorist network. He also announced the names of 12 men involved in the attack.

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz says he believes that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida group carried out the attacks on three housing compounds in Riyadh last month.

Thirty-five people died in the attacks. He said other terror groups may have helped or worked closely in the suicide bombings.

The Interior Ministry has identified 12 of the attackers and says investigations are continuing to name others involved. Prince Nayef says that so far, 25 people are in custody. He also says that not all of these may have been involved in the bombings, but they do hold the same beliefs as those who carried out the attacks.

The list of 12 did not include Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Faqasi al-Ghamdi, believed by authorities to be the mastermind of the bombings.

Saudi officials also report the discovery of a large quantity of RDX explosives at Al-Kharj, some 70 kilometers south of the capital.

Last Sunday, FBI Director Robert Mueller said the May 12 suicide bombings bore all the hallmarks of the al-Qaida network.

Saudi officials also say they are continuing their search for at least 10 more suspects wanted in connection with a weapons cache found in Riyadh a week before the suicide attacks.