Terrorist Attacks

Flynt L. Leverett
Flynt L. Leverett Senior Fellow, The Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings

May 19, 2003

HOST: Saudi investigators have arrested four men in connection with lethal bombings last week. The four are thought to be linked to al Qa’eda. Moroccan officials say the 13 perpetrators of the attack there last weekend were all Moroccans who had also been abroad.

Joining me in the studio to talk about the recent terrorist attacks, Juth Yaphe, senior research fellow at the National Defense University; Larry Johnson, former head of Counter-Terrorism at the Department of State; and Flynt Leverett, visiting fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

Flynt, there’ve been strong indications that al Qa’eda operatives were behind the attacks in both Morocco and Saudi Arabia. What do you see as some of those indications, some of the common elements?

LEVERETT: Well, first of all, just the MO of the attacks would suggest very strongly that they were planned and carried out by al Qa’eda operatives. The nearly simultaneous detonation of the bombs in Riyadh, for example, is a hallmark of al Qa’eda attacks. You had a similar kind of carefully coordinated attack in Morocco. U.S. officials are saying to the press that there are also some very strong intelligence connections, intelligence indications linking the attacks in Riyadh to al Qa’eda figures who are believed to be in Iran right now. That’s another very strong indication that the attacks in Riyadh at least were planned and carried out by al Qa’eda.

Listen to the full interview.