Saudi Arabia has been a victim of terrorism since 1966 when bomb blasts had rocked the country’s capital Riyadh.
The following year, in 1967, bombs had again exploded in Riyadh by a North Yemen-based organization call “Union of the People of the Arabian Peninsula.” After the attacks, Saudi authorities had arrested several hundred Yemenis. While 17 Yemenis were executed, 17 others were expelled from the country.
Here follow brief details pertaining to the deadliest terror incident in Saudi Arabia in terms of death toll till date.
Between November 20 and December 04, 1979 insurgents calling for the overthrow of the House of Saud had taken over Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah. At least 117 militants were killed while 127 members of the combatant forces had also perished.
At the time of the event, Crown Prince Fahd was in Tunisian for a meeting of the Arab Summit. The commander of the National Guard, Prince Abdullah, was also abroad for an official visit to Morocco.
Therefore, King Khalid assigned the responsibility to Prince Sultan, then Minister of Defense, and Prince Nayef, the then Minister of Interior, to deal with the incident. Pakistani and French commandos had also taken part in this exercise against the terrorists.
In Islamabad, on the day following the takeover, the American Center was burned.
A week later, an unruly crown in Tripoli (Libra) had attacked and set the US Embassy on fire.
On January 9, 1980, 63 rebels were publicly beheaded in eight cities by the Saudi government.
The Saudi rulers had taken effective measures reducing such acts of terror to the minimum in their country.