The inglorious defeat in Iraq was very humiliating for the whole of the Arab world
To all appearances, the act of terrorism in Er-Riyadh has become a bolt from the blue for both the Saudi authorities and the American special services. At least, before this tragic event there was no information saying that a terrorist sortie was possible on the territory of a Middle Eastern country (with the likely exception of Israel). However, we would like to point out that action by terrorists after the defeat of the Saddam regime was foreordained. The inglorious defeat was very humiliating for the whole of the Arab world. Unfortunately, actions of such a kind should have been expected. It is another question why terrorists became so active not before or during the war in Iraq, but when the war was already over.
It is highly likely that Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif Bin Abdul-Aziz gave the answer to this question. In his words, the terrorist sortie is not timed to the visit of US Secretary of State Colin Powell to Saudi Arabia, but it is meant to discredit the ruling dynasty of the country. He says the act of terrorism was committed by a group of 19 people whom the Kingdom authorities put on a wanted list last week. At first, the terrorists fired at guards of a residential area where foreigners lived, and then they blew up cars stuffed with explosives. It is reported that 10 Americans were killed and 50 more people wounded: Americans, Saudis and citizens of other states (it is reported that three Japanese citizens were wounded in the terrorist act). The terrorists managed to disappear. It is interesting that they carried the sortie out in accordance with a previously perfected scheme (that has been tried even in Chechnya): first they opened fire and then blew up a car stuffed with explosives.
Nevertheless, despite the Saudi minister's words, the terrorist act was committed right before the visit to the country of the US secretary of state. This is unlikely to be a random coincidence. Whatever the case may be, the terrorists, of a so far unknown organization (although the Americans have already declared that al-Qaeda could be behind the terrorist act in Saudi Arabia), managed to shatter assurances that the Saudi authorities can control the situation. Yes, the terrorists had been put on a wanted list; but they managed to stay free, attack the residential area and even freely escape.
If we speak about any connection between the Saudi act of terrorism and the war in Iraq, it was Osama bin Laden himself who answered the question why terrorists organized no acts earlier. He called Saddam Hussein a communist, which meant that he wasn't going to support the Baghdad regime. And he kept his word: he rendered no assistance to Baghdad. So now, when the war in Iraq is over, he and his accomplices have once again decided to remind the whole world of their existence.