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Riyadh Bombing Not 'Unexpected,' says US Senator

An influential U.S. senator says the deadly suicide bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was not unexpected and appears to be the work of al-Qaida terrorist network.

The chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Pat Roberts, says recent U.S. intelligence reports warned of the possibility of a terrorist attack against Saudi Arabia. The Kansas Republican spoke on the U.S. television program Fox News Sunday.

"We had a briefing in the Intelligence Committee warning about this about a week ago, that Saudi Arabia could very well be the subject of an attack," he said. "... It signals to that family, the Saud family [that governs Saudi Arabia] that they are a target of terrorism. It also really indicates that the terrorists really do not care who they attack."

Senator Roberts indicated that the suicide bombing looks like the work of al-Qaida, and that he expects further attacks in the future.

A Democratic colleague on the Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, spoke on the same program. Mr. Levin said the Riyadh bombing is another indication that President Bush's strategy for fighting terrorism is ineffective.

"I think we have to work with all countries of the world in defeating terrorism," said Mr. Levin. "We need allies in that war. We have been much too unilateral in that war. We have gone it alone, not having the support of the international community, including a lot of Arab countries."

Senator Levin offered no suggestions concerning ways to combat terrorism in Saudi Arabia, but said it is time for the United States to consider handing over power in Iraq.