News – Saudi Arabia – 2011-05-02

Published: May 2, 2011

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ARABIALINK Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/ 

5.2.2011 EDITION


Osama Bin Laden Killed; ‘Justice Has Been Done’: WASHINGTON POST

Philip Rucker, Scott Wilson and Anne E. Kornblut | 4/2/11

“Osama bin Laden, the long-hunted al-Qaeda leader and chief architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, was killed by U.S. forces Sunday in what officials described as a surgical raid on his luxury hideout in Pakistan. In a rare Sunday night address from the East Room of the White House, President Obama said a small team of U.S. personnel attacked a compound Sunday in Pakistan’s Abbottabad Valley, where bin Laden had been hiding since at least last summer. During a firefight, U.S. team killed bin Laden, 54, and took custody of his body in what Obama called “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaeda.”

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S SPEECH:Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort.  There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us.  We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad. “As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam.  I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam.  Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.  Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.  So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.” –

SAUDI ARABIA WELCOMES BIN LADEN’S DEATH: “Saudi Arabia says it hopes the killing of militant leader and former Saudi citizen Osama bin Laden will boost efforts to fight terrorism,” the AP reports.

The Saudi Press Agency carried an official statement Monday expressing hope that bin Laden’s death with be a “step that supports the international efforts against terrorism.”

LATEST BREAKING NEWS: The original plan for the raid was to bomb the house, but President Obama ultimately decided against that. “The helicopter raid was riskier. It was more daring,” an official said. “But he wanted proof. He didn’t want to just leave a pile of rubble.” Officials also knew there were 22 people living there, and Obama wanted to be sure not to kill all the civilians. So he ordered officials to come up with an air-assault plan. The forces held rehearsals of the raid on April 7 and April 13, with officials monitoring the action from Washington,” Politico summarizes.

TRAVEL ALERT ISSUED: The State Department issued a travel alert Monday, warning Americans traveling or living abroad to be cautious about anti-American violence in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, CNNMoney reports.

BURIED ‘IN ACCORDANCE TO ISLAMIC TRADITION’: Osama Bin Laden’s body was buried at sea, without creating a gravesite that might turn into a shrine for his supporters, officials said. Bin Laden’s body was buried “in accordance with Islamic tradition,” meaning within 24 hours of bin Laden’s death. “No information was available as to whether Muslim prayers were recited or the body was ritually washed, as is usually required by Islamic law. In general, burial at sea means tipping the body overboard — wrapped, likely, in a shroud — after a brief service.”

VIDEO: INSIDE THE COMPOUND WHERE OSAMA WAS KILLED: Footage from inside the building showed scenes of disarray, and bloodstains on the floor in Abbottabad, BBC News reports, in this video.

CELEBRATIONS:  GROUND ZERO: “The impromptu celebrations at ground zero began slowly on Sunday night…word had begun to leak out on television and newspaper Web sites, and by 11:15 p.m. the first responses to the news could be seen near the former World Trade Center site. A police car drove north on Church Street blaring bagpipe music from open windows, and an officer inside raised a clenched fist as he passed a knot of people on the sidewalk in front of the Millenium Hilton Hotel, the New York Times reports. WHITE HOUSE: “A large crowd gathered in front of the White House to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden, with people chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A,” waving U.S. flags and singing the national anthem,” the AP reports.

FEEL-GOOD RALLY ON WALL STREET: The opening bell was on Wall Street was “met with a feel-good rally in New York Monday, following the news late Sunday that U.S. forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. Stocks began the day sharply higher, the dollar firmed up against foreign currencies and oil prices fell back below $113 a barrel,” Forbes reports.

MIDDLE EAST REACTION: “News of the death of Osama bin Laden sparked late-night celebrations in the U.S. but the response in the Arab world has been more cautious and subdued,” CNN reports. “There were no scenes of jubilation in the streets, though the death obviously dominated news broadcasts in the region.JAMAL KHASHOGGI: ‘BIN LADEN CHOSE WRONG PATH’: “Khashoggi said the fact that Osama survived for this long after Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was the real story. “It was a big failure of US intelligence,” he said, Arab News reports. According to him it is a very peculiar thing to happen in a very peculiar year. “The news of his killing comes at a time when the Al-Qaeda ideology has been completely rejected by the Arab world. Al-Qaeda was in eclipse … to be very specific it was buried in January 2011 in Tahrir Square in Cairo,” he said, referring to the massive people’s movement that swept aside longtime Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak. SAUDI EXPATS RELEIVED: “A cross section of expatriates working in Saudi Arabia have expressed their sense of relief over the American mission that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan on Monday. They were unanimous in their condemnation of terrorist activities of any kind, and were hopeful that with the killing of the mastermind there would be some letup in these senseless killings,” Mohammed Rasooldeen (Arab News) writes.


Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel shares a list of obituaries of Osama Bin Laden: “NYT: The most wanted face of terrorism; LAT: Born to privilege, he dies a pariah; WSJ: The death of a terrorist; AP: Bin Laden took a path of fanaticism and terror; Post: Osama bin Laden killed; BBC: Obituary; Reuters: Trailing Osama bin Laden; FT: Obituary: Osama bin Laden; AJE: Obituary: Osama bin Laden; Telegraph: Osama bin Laden; CNN: The face of terrorism.”

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

GE Wins $500 Million Contracts from Saudi Electricity: REUTERS


“State utility company Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) has awarded General Electric contracts worth more than $500 million to help SEC add 1,680 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity, the U.S. firm said on Monday.

GE is the largest provider of turbines for SEC.”

Saudi Arabia to Pump 9 Million Barrels of Oil in 2011, NCB Says: BLOOMBERG

Wael Mahdi | 5/1/11

“Saudi Arabia’s oil production may reach 9 million barrels per day on average in 2011 as global demand increases, said an official at National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest bank by assets.”

Saudi Arabia Economy Stable amid Regional Uprisings, Azzam Says: BLOOMBERG

Zainab Fattah and Vivian Salama | 5/1/11

“The Saudi economy will grow at 7 percent or 7.5 percent this year, Henry Azzam said at a conference in Dubai today. The two most stable governments in the region are those of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, “helped by government largesse,” he said.”

Saudi Business Confidence Reaches All-Time High: ARABIAN BUSINESS

Ed Attwood | 5/1/11

Business confidence in Saudi Arabia’s non-hydrocarbon sector has soared to an all-time high, buoyed by the high oil price, the stable economy, and King Abdullah’s social spending packages, according to new data.

Saudi Academic Champions Children’s Books: SAUDI GAZETTE

Susannah Tarbush | 5/2/11

THE writing and publishing of children’s literature started later in the Arab world than in the West, and Saudi Arabia was slower than some other Arab countries to produce children’s books. But although publication of Arabic children’s books “might have started late, yet they have developed fast,” Dr. Sabah A. Aisawi of Dammam University told a seminar at the recent London Book Fair (LBF). “They stand on an equal footing with the best examples of children’s books in first world countries.”

‘Kingdom Needs To Invest More in Energy Efficiency’: ARAB NEWS

Saeed Al-Khotani | 5/1/11

“German and Saudi experts at the German-Saudi symposium on energy efficiency in buildings, held in Riyadh on Saturday, have agreed on the need to develop a feasible energy concept that aims to use energy more efficiently in the Kingdom especially in buildings.”

US Firm Chosen to Provide Solutions to Jeddah Floods: SAUDI NEWS TODAY


US-based engineering company AECOM has been selected as the consultancy firm for projects aimed at avoiding future flood disasters in Jeddah.

Lukewarm Response to Voter Registration in Hail: ARAB NEWS

Md Al-Sulami | 5/1/11

“Even after a week since the voter registration for the upcoming municipal elections began, a general lack of interest can be observed among the public.

Voter registration in 300 centers in the Kingdom started on April 23 and will last for 27 days.”

Yanbu Back in Action, But the Heat Is Still On: THE NATIONAL

Hadeel al Sayegh | 5/2/11

Yanbu Cement has resumed the operation of three furnaces after a suspension cost the company 12.7 million Saudi riyals. The three lines were stopped on April 12 because of “fuel unavailability”, the company said yesterday in a statement to the Saudi bourse website. The lines have a combined capacity of 4,000 tonnes, representing 32 per cent of output capacity, the statement added.




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