RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Captured Al Qaeda militants said last year's foiled suicide attack on the world's largest oil processing facility was part of a plot to strike oil installations and draw U.S. troops into Saudi Arabia to be attacked.
Four alleged members of an Al Qaeda terror cell arrested following the February 2006 attack on the Abqaiq oil complex appeared Monday night on two Saudi television stations, saying their attack was endorsed by Usama bin Laden.
The four are accused of helping with logistics for the attack by two suicide bombers, who were shot to death by Saudi guards before they could drive two explosives-laden vehicles into the complex in eastern Saudi Arabia.
Abdullah al-Muqrin, one of the four, said the attack meant to embarrass the kingdom, destabilize oil prices in the United States and ultimately draw in U.S. troops to the country to protect oil facilities so that Al Qaeda militants could fight them on Saudi soil.
"It was all about luring in America to intervene, irrespective of the expected high loss of human life or the economic damage," al-Muqrin said.
Khaled al-Kurdi, another alleged Al Qaeda member, said the attackers sought "to hammer America."
Al-Muqrin said he was told the attack would be "authorized only by bin Laden himself." He was told Al Qaeda was preparing for "something great, a huge operation, similar to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks," al-Murqin said.