SAUDI ARABIA BOMBINGS: BRITON AMONG SUSPECTS WHO CONFESS IN COURT

Three suspects believed to be behind the spate of recent bombings against British and Irish suspects in Saudi Arabia have appeared in court and have pleaded guilty to the charges. One is Belgian, another Canadian and the third, Briton Alexander Mitchell. He stated: “I confirm and confess that I received orders to carry out the bombing in Riyadh against Christopher Rodway”. Mr. Rodway died and his wife was seriously injured in the blast. Other attacks produced four more injuries. The attacks had the thousands of British residents in Saudi Arabia terrified, since it was feared that an Islamic terrorist group was acting against members of countries which had attacked Iraq. The Foreign Office is investigating whether the confessions were obtained under duress, and does not offer any reason for the bombings. However, unofficial sources state that the black market in illicit alcohol is rife in the Gulf. It will be remembered that as an Islamic State, Saudi Arabia does not allow the consumption of alcohol on its territory. This situation gives rise to a lucrative illegal trade in alcohol among the communities of foreign residents and it is this which is believed to have been the cause behind the attacks: gangland warfare. In other Gulf States, it is apparently possible for the foreign nationals to declare themselves as alcoholics and so be allowed to drink in peace.

JOHN ASHTEAD PRAVDA.RU LONDON