Saudi Consulate Attack
Five Saudi militants attacked the U.S. Consulate in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, but Saudi security forces killed three of them and wounded two others, the Saudi Interior Ministry said.
A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman in Riyadh said no Americans had been taken hostage or wounded but that two members of the local staff had been injured. A Saudi Interior Ministry official said several members of the Saudi security forces were killed and several others wounded in Monday’s attack, launched around 11:15 a.m. (3:15 a.m. ET). In addition, he said, some Saudi civilians who were at the consulate were hit by the gunfire.
The official said the militants threw explosives at two gates of the sprawling, walled consulate and then entered, exchanging fire with guards. A senior Saudi official in Washington told CNN’s Andrea Koppel an unknown number of third country nationals who worked at the consulate were taken hostage for a time. Some suffered wounds but all were released. He said Saudis officials believe grenades were “thrown in as a diversion.” The attackers “stormed into part of the consulate” known as the visa section where they took the third country nationals hostage.
Al Qaeda, of course, is the chief suspect. One would think that repeated attacks on fellow Arab Muslims would backfire on the group at some point, although there’s little evidence it’s happened thus far.