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City of Brass

It seems that there was no plot against the Hajj after all, according to Saudi authorities:

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Interior has denied reports published in a
Washington-based online newspaper that Saudi officials had launched a
massive crackdown on Al-Qaeda terrorists who were allegedly planning to
attack pilgrims participating in this year’s Haj.

The Middle East Times — a sister publication of the Washington Times
which is owned by News World Communications — carried the report on
Dec. 16 quoting unnamed US intelligence officials.

The report said the Saudi government’s operation followed alerts that Al-Qaeda planned to launch a bloody assault on pilgrims.

Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior,
described the report as “incorrect.” “We didn’t launch any huge
counterterrorism operation,” he said, adding that there was no
intelligence of an attack targeting the pilgrims.

I find this denial believable because it would have been good PR had it been true. The original report was in the Middle East Times, which until now I hadn’t realized is a sister publication of the Washington Times, a conservative political newspaper with poor credibility that I usually ignore.

Thank god it wasn’t true. Still, it’s foolish to think that there might not be one in the future.

(via John)

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