Bombers attack Saudi oil facility
"An explosion rocked Saudi Arabia's huge Abqaiq oil facility in the east of the kingdom on Friday and an official said Saudi forces had thwarted suicide bomb attacks against the world's biggest oil exporter.
Oil jumped more than $2 a barrel. Al Qaeda leaders have previously called for attacks on oil fields in Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally.
A security source said suicide bombers had tried to storm the facility in the mainly Shi'ite province, known locally as Baqiq, and site of one of Saudi Arabia's main oilfields.
"Security forces foiled an attempted suicide attack at the Abqaiq refinery using at least two cars," the official said.
Dubai-based television station Al-Arabiya said Saudi forces killed the attackers. It quoted witnesses saying there was shooting.
Al Arabiya said the cars used by the attackers had the logo of Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco on them and that one car exploded at the gate to one refinery mid-afternoon.
Al Arabiya said a fire at a pipeline from the blast was now under control.
It was not clear if there was any impact on output from the world's top oil producer and a close U.S. ally.
Most Saudi oil is exported from the Gulf via the huge Abqaiq producing, pumping and processing facility. The world's biggest processing plant, it handles about two-thirds of the country's output.
Former Middle East CIA field officer Robert Baer (Note: VIP affiliation and appeared inUncoveredhas described Abqaiq as "the most vulnerable point and most spectacular target in the Saudi oil system."
"It's not clear what damage there is but Abqaiq is the world's most important oil facility," said Gary Ross, CEO at PIRA Energy consultancy in New York.
"This just emphasizes fears over global oil supply security when we're already facing major ongoing risks in Nigeria, Iran and Iraq."
Kind of throws a wrench in the UAE rift, unless you want to believe that those "Arabs" orchestrated this to throw the scent off their "dubious deal".
Via Michelle Malkin, a blog called "The Officer's Club" confirms my suspicions that we need not look in the usual places:
"However, let’s think about what went wrong here: the guards at the facility took out the vehicles and stopped the attack from escalating. That either means that these are some hard-core oil refinery guards, or the terror attack was an Al Qaeda amateur night. This attack does show the sensitivity of the global economy, where a second-rate, half-assed terror attack on a remote Saudi refinery can jump the global price of oil $2.
What caused them to be ineffective? A universe of options is presented. Ineffective recon on the target, lack of an “inside man”, nervousness of the guys some terrorist talked into martyring themselves, last minute jitters, etc. With all of this said, imagine if AQ (or whoever) had their act together, and pulled off multiple, coordinated attacks on the oil infrastructure across Saudi Arabia. Oil would go up a lot more than $2.
This was not only poorly planned, but doesn't bear markings of a typical AQ operation. Saudi guards are mean and lean enough, but not that well trained. More over, attackers - reminiscent of the amatures in Britain - aren't this bad.
Thus, this like other "insurgency" attacks which are automatically pinned on AQ, just don't fit the view. Notice too the lack of "ownership", normally bragged upon after such attacks. Noticeably absent as well and has me feelers in a twitter.
Information I'm working on makes me look "elsewhere" for conductors and instigators.
Beyond the pale. Phoenix redux.
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Bombers attack Saudi oil facility