So says Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, according to DEBKAfile.
Also: “three or four days before the May 12 attacks, Saudi and US intelligence discovered and encircled the bombers” hideout in advance of their operation, but enough escaped to regroup at prepared alternative secret bases and pounce from there. This time too, the Americans and Saudis knew a fresh assault was imminent. On November 8, Washington released information that terrorists had moved from the planning to the operational stage and shut all diplomatic missions in the kingdom.” . . .
“DEBKAfile’s terrorism experts note: The sequence of events lays bare a major obstacle in the capabilities of the royal Saudi authorities and the intelligence resources at their command to fight al Qaeda. On top of the conventional terror prevention methods, like human and electronic surveillance and intelligence gathering, the Saudis are confronted with the need to bargain perpetually for the cooperation of local tribal, clan and clerical leaders in handing over al Qaeda suspects. Saudi security officers in pursuit of terrorists dare not venture into a district before the local chiefs and imams have been won over. The alternative is wholesale war against one or more of the tribes that are the backbone of the kingdom’s population.”
Also, Kuwait has become a significant recruitment center for Al-Qaeda.”DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources reveal exclusively that since mid-October, hundreds of al Qaeda recruits in Kuwait are entering Iraq directly or through Saudi Arabia. The scale of this traffic is beginning to rival the movement of Arab and other al Qaeda fighters into Iraq from Syria. . . . Both the Saudi and Kuwaiti authorities have not been able to stop this dangerous cross-border movement.”
Postscript: In a comment here, Michael Ledeen raises some pointed and excellent questions for Mr. Armitage: “DEBKA is about as accurate as Armitage, which is to say NOT. That said, the ‘discovery’ that al Qaeda is determined to destroy (at least part of) the Saudi Royal Family is what the Italians call ‘the discovery of the umbrella,’ namely we all knew that all along. Finally, if Armitage is so worred about al Q, then how come he keeps appeasing Iran, which is where al Q has been hiding, training, feeding and reveling since Afghanistan?”.