Would Al-Qaeda be short-sighted enough to destroy the ultimate source of worldwide funding for jihad? From the World Tribune, :
Saudi Arabia has bolstered its forces in the Eastern Province after an alert of an Al Qaida attack on the kingdom’s oil fields and nearby Shi’ite communities.
Saudi opposition sources said Riyad has reinforced National Guard troops and has constructed barriers around the regional capital of Qatif. The sources said the main concern is that Al Qaida would launch a suicide car bombing in the city.
So far, Saudi authorities have closed off sections of the Shi’ite-populated city of Qatif. Police also banned cars to the Al Qalaa section of that city.
The Al Qaida threat comes amid an effort by the state-owned Saudi Aramco to increase oil production at Qatif, Middle East Newsline reported. The effort has been plagued by safety difficulties because of the proximity of the oil fields to Shi’ite communities.
Saudi opposition sources said Al Qaida has been encouraged by Saudi clerics to launch attacks on the Shi’ite minority amid demands for equal rights with the Sunni majority. They said ruling clerics in Saudi Arabia have been concerned that the destruction of the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein would result in a Shi’ite-dominated Iraq that would encourage separatism in Saudi Arabia.
Al Qaida has already issued several fatwas, or religious rulings, that encourage violence against Sh’ites. On Jan. 14, Sheik Salman Al Odeh, a pro-Al Qaida Saudi cleric, termed Shi’ites infidels and enemies. Another pro-Al Qaida cleric, Sheik Safar Al Hawali, warned the Shi’ites that they would be massacred while others called for the removal of Shi’ites from all government positions.