Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—A Saudi border post along the Saudi-Yemeni borders was attacked by suspected Al-Qaeda militants on Friday. The commander of the Wadia border post in Saudi Arabia’s southern province of Sharura was killed in the attack along with three of the assailants; two other assailants were shot and captured by Saudi security forces.
A well-informed Saudi security source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, said that the assailants were Saudi nationals and members of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) franchise which has a strong presence in parts of Yemen. One of the suspected Al-Qaeda members who was captured during the attack is believed to be Saleh Mohamed Abdul Rahman Al-Suhaibani, aged 22, who has been on the run from Saudi authorities since 2006.
The attack on the Saudi border post had been preceded by an assault on the Yemeni side of the border post with a car bombing killing one Yemeni soldier and wounding another, according to Yemen’s state SABA news agency. The suspected Al-Qaeda assailants were seeking to infiltrate Saudi Arabia’s territory from Yemen, possibly with the intention of carrying out further terrorist attacks. Saudi security forces seized machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades from the vehicles that were being used by the assailants.
Saudi security sources confirmed that the suspected Al-Qaeda attackers, whose identities have yet to be released to the public, were wanted on terrorism charges.
The Saudi Interior Ministry issued a public call in August 2006 for Mohamed Abdul Rahman Al-Suhaibani to come forward and explain his alleged involvement with a terrorist cell in Riyadh affiliated to AQAP. Saudi authorities arrested the terrorist cell, which had been in the process of planning operations against government infrastructure and security figures.
“Suhaibani was a member of the terrorist cell which was exposed after a Yemeni member of the cell was arrested in Riyadh during advanced planning for a terrorist attack targeting three locations in the capital,” the security source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Wadia Border Post commander Fahd Al-Dossari was killed in the Al-Qaeda attack. His brother, Khalid, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Fahd was a veteran commander who had been involved in a number of front-line actions over the past years and that he sacrificed himself for the security of the nation.