SAUDI ARABIA CRACKS DOWN
From Arnaud DeBorchgrave
The recent bombing in Saudi Arabia badly shook the regime because it was directed at one of the pillars of the House of Saud's power and legitimacy, the loyalty of the tribes. The tribes are heavily represented in the Saudi National Guard, once headed by Crown Prince Abdullah and generally regarded as his original power base. Abdullah, by the way, while like the other senior princes is a son of the legendary King Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia's founder, is on his mother's side an al-Rasheedi. The Rasheeds, like the Sherifs of Mecca who now rule in Jordan, were rivals to the House of Saud for control of the Arabian peninsula. Instead of destroying the Rasheeds upon their defeat, Abdul Aziz magnaminously amalgamated them with honor ( albeit in a junior position) into the ruling family and took a Rasheedi wife. An action that set the tone of the future relationship between the ruling House of Saud and the subordinate chieftains. That al Qaida has made inroads both operationally and ideologically into this once secure bastion of the Saudi regime has caused the normally lethargic and willfully blind ( as far as Islamists go) Saudi security apparatus to spring into action.
The princes may realize that their heads too are on the chopping block