INDEPTH: SAUDI ARABIA|
CBC News Online | Updated Aug. 2, 2005
Aug. 1, 2005
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (AP photo)
Saudi Arabia announces the death of King Fahd.
» CBC News: World leaders in Saudi Arabia for funeral of King Fahd
A Riyadh court sentences three reformists to prison terms of between six and nine years after they try to circulate a petition calling for a constitutional monarchy in Saudi Arabia.
April 23, 2005
Candidates backed by conservative Muslim clerics sweep into power in the final stage of municipal elections. Losing candidates charge that the circulation of a list of names supported by fundamentalist clerics violates an electoral law forbidding the formation of coalitions.
Feb. 9, 2005
Saudis are set to vote in the first elections ever to be held in their country. The municipal polls being held nationwide are expected to have little impact on the power structure of government but, as some hope, might mark the start of democratic reform. Women have not been allowed to vote or run in the elections.
» CBC News: Saudis set for landmark elections
Feb. 5, 2005
Saudi Arabia hosts a four-day Counter-Terrorism International Conference where delegates from about 50 nations debate how to co-ordinate the fight against terrorism. The Saudi government is eager to change the country's image of being linked to Islamic extremism and terrorism. Prince Abdullah calls for an international effort in creating an anti-terrorism centre.
» CBC News: Saudi Arabia hosts counter-terrorism conference
Dec. 30, 2004
Saudi police hunt for militants who bombed two state security headquarters buildings in Riyadh, killing two people and leaving more than 90 injured.
» CBC News: Saudi police hunt suspects in bombings at security offices
Dec. 29, 2004
Saudi police kill seven militants in a shootout following two suicide bombings that injured 18 people and killed the two attackers.
» CBC News: Explosions, shootings leave 7 dead in Saudi capital
Dec. 7, 2004
The Saudi wing of al-Qaeda claims responsibility for a recent attack on the U.S. Consulate that killed nine people including four militants and injured 13 others. Four of the five attackers were Saudi nationals.
» CBC News: Al-Qaeda group claims to have carried out Jeddah attack
Dec. 6, 2004:
Attackers armed with machine-guns throw explosives at the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah and fire at security guards there. Five consulate staff members, four guards and three of the gunmen are killed and several more are injured in the siege. About 20 people are taken hostage before being released when the last militants are arrested.
» CBC News: 12 die as U.S. Consulate attacked
Aug. 6, 2004:
Saudi security forces capture the country's most wanted terror suspect, cleric Faris Ahmed Jamaan al-Showeel al-Zahrani, in a coffee shop without firing a shot.
» CBC News: Saudis arrest top terror suspect
July 21, 2004:
The head of Paul Johnson, an American defence engineer kidnapped and beheaded by militants linked to al-Qaeda, is found in a Riyadh apartment during a raid by Saudi forces. Two suspected al-Qaeda militants are killed in the raid.
» CBC News: U.S. hostage's head found in Saudi raid
June 18, 2004:
Militants linked to al-Qaeda behead Paul Johnson and post photos of his body on a website. A statement on the site reads, "The infidel got his fair treatment." U.S. President George W. Bush calls the killing an "act of barbarism." Saudi security officials later find Johnson's body, but not his head, in the northeast of Riyadh.
» CBC News: Al-Qaeda militants behead U.S. hostage
The suspected leader of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz al-Muqrin, is killed in a firefight with Saudi security forces shortly after Johnson's beheading.
» CBC News: Saudi al-Qaeda leader killed: reports
June 15, 2004:
Paul Johnson's kidnappers post a statement on a website demanding that militants held by the Saudis be released in 72 hours or they will kill Johnson. A photograph on the website shows Johnson blindfolded.
» CBC News: Kidnappers threaten to kill American hostage
June 12, 2004:
Paul Johnson Jr., an American engineer working for Lockheed-Martin Aerospace in Saudi Arabia, is kidnapped from Riyadh by a militant group linked to al-Qaeda. Another American is killed in the raid.
» CBC News: One American killed, another missing in Saudi Arabia
June 6, 2004:
Gunmen open fire on two BBC journalists as they film the Riyadh house of an al-Qaeda militant who was killed last year. An Irish cameraman, Simon Cumbers, is killed and a British security correspondent, Frank Gardner, is wounded.
» CBC News: BBC journalist killed, another wounded in Saudi Arabia
June 2, 2004:
Saudi security forces kill two militants in Taif. Gunmen in Riyadh fire on a car carrying at least one American.
» CBC News: Saudi security forces shoot militants
May 30, 2004:
The helicopter used by Saudi special forces (AP photo)
Saudi commandos end a day-long hostage crisis that resulted in the deaths of 22 people, jumping from helicopters onto the roof of a high-rise of a luxury compound. Saudi authorities say 41 of the hostages were freed in the raid. Gunmen opened fire the previous day in attacks on three housing compounds, killing 22 people, most of them foreigners, and taking as many as 60 people hostage.
» CBC News: 22 dead as Saudi commandos end siege
May 1, 2004:
Gunmen open fire in the house of an oil contractor, killing at least five foreigners and one Saudi. The gunfire injures 25 other people, including two Canadians. One of the Canadians would eventually die. The U.S. would later reissue its recommendation that American citizens leave Saudi Arabia.
» CBC News:
Westerners die, Canadians wounded in Saudi attack
April 22, 2004:
Two car bombs explode in Riyadh, killing at least 10 people and ripping the facades from nearly buildings, including the General Security building, headquarters of Saudi national security. Saudi officials would blame al-Qaeda for the suicide attacks.
» CBC News: Saudis blame al-Qaeda for suicide attacks
April 16, 2004:
The U.S. strongly recommends that American citizen leave Saudi Arabia after receiving "recent and credible information indicating that extremists are planning further attacks against U.S. and Western interests."
» CBC News: Washington urges Americans to leave Saudi Arabia
April 1, 2004:
The family of Mohammad Momin Khawaja , the first person charged under the Canadian Anti-terrorism Act, announce that his father, Mahboob Khawaja, is being held in police custody in Saudi Arabia. The family would later say the Canadian government asked the Saudis to detain Mahboob Khawaja. The RCMP would deny the charge. Mahboob Khawaja would be released from Saudi custody two weeks later.
» CBC News: Saudis hold father of Canadian terrorism suspect
Feb. 24, 2004:
Canadian William Sampson, who claims he was tortured in a Saudi jail for 2½ years, files a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia's interior minister, the deputy governor of the jail and two of the jail's guards.
» CBC News: Canadian businessman sues Saudi captors
» More on William Sampson.
Feb. 2, 2004:
About 250 people are killed in a stampede at the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage in Mina, Saudi Arabia. Worshippers are crushed by a crowd trying to throw pebbles at a stone pillar symbolizing the devil.
» CBC News: Number of pilgrims killed in Saudi stampede rises to more than 250
» More on the hajj.
Nov. 8, 2003:
A suicide car bomb explodes near a residential compound in Riyadh, killing 17 people five of them children and injuring more than 120, including seven Canadians. Saudi and American officials would blame al-Qaeda for the attack.
» CBC News: 7 Canadians among injured in Saudi blast
Oct. 25, 2003:
The Canadian government advises Canadians not to travel to Saudi Arabia because of a new terrorist threat. The British government made a similar announcement the previous day.
» CBC News: Ottawa warns against travel to Saudi Arabia<
Sept. 10, 2003:
The Opposition Canadian Alliance calls on Ottawa to expel the Saudi ambassador because of the country's treatment of William Sampson. Saudi Arabia repeats its denial that Sampson was ever tortured.
» CBC News: Kick out Saudi ambassador: Day
Aug. 8, 2003:
William Sampson, held in a Saudi jail under threat of death for 2½ years, is released after King Fahd grants him clemency.
May 12, 2003:
A suicide car bomb attack in Riyadh kills 34 people, including nine bombers, and injures more than 60 others. Saudi and American officials would link the attack to al-Qaeda. The U.S. recalls most of its nonessential diplomats and their family members.
» CBC News: 60 injured in Saudi car bomb blasts
April 18, 2003: Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, and foreign ministers from other neighbours of Iraq call for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. "American forces are occupation forces," says al-Faisal.
» CBC News: Iraqi neighbours call for U.S. withdrawal
Feb. 18, 2003: The Saudi interior minister says 90 citizens will be tried for suspected links to al-Qaeda and 250 others are still being questioned.
» CBC News: Al-Qaeda suspects to go on trial in Saudi Arabia
Feb. 11, 2003: Fourteen Muslim pilgrims are trampled to death by a crowd taking part in the hajj during a ritual in which a pillar representing the devil is stoned.
» CBC News: 14 pilgrims crushed in hajj ritual
Dec. 3, 2002: A Saudi diplomat in Washington denies charges his country has done nothing to stop the financing of terrorist organizations, saying the accusations "border on hate."
» CBC News: Saudis say U.S. accusations 'border on hate'
Nov. 25, 2002: FBI investigates how money might have made its way from Saudi Princess Haifa al-Faisal, the wife of Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, to the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers. Saudi officials call the idea of a link between the princess and the hijackers "crazy."
» CBC News: Saudi princess accused of funnelling money to terrorists
Sept. 5, 2002: Citing security concerns, the Canadian government begins to require Saudi citizens to obtain a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.
» CBC News: Ottawa clamps down on Saudi visitors
June 18, 2002: Saudi officials arrest 13 men with alleged links to al-Qaeda, claiming they were preparing to use explosives and missiles in an attack.
» CBC News: Saudis detain 13 suspected al-Qaeda members
April 26, 2002: Reports claim that Canadian William Sampson has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia.
» CBC News: Cdn. businessman sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia: reports
April 25, 2002: U.S. President George W. Bush meets with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at Bush's ranch in Texas. "The crown prince and I established a strong personal bond," said Bush.
» CBC News: Bush upbeat after meeting with Saudi prince
March 28, 2002: The Arab League endorses a peace plan for the Middle East, sponsored by Saudi Arabia, calling for Israel to withdraw from Arab lands, the creation of a Palestinian state and the right of Palestinian refugees to return.
» CBC News: Arab leaders endorse Saudi land-for-peace plan
Feb. 13, 2002: A bus carrying Muslims to the hajj pilgrimage hits a truck in eastern Saudi Arabia, killing 40 people and injuring 10 others.
» CBC News: Bus accident kills 40 hajj pilgrims
Jan. 31, 2002: The Saudi interior minister says reports of jailhouse torture and forced confessions in the western news media are part of an anti-Saudi campaign. Saudi Arabia was accused of forcing a confession from Canadian William Sampson and several Britons for a series of explosions starting in November 2000.
» CBC News: Saudis dismiss accusations they tortured Britons, Canadian
Jan. 28, 2002: Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef says most of the detainees the U.S. is holding in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are Saudis and should be treated according to Saudi law.
» CBC News: Saudi Arabia says most Guantanamo prisoners are Saudis
Sept. 25, 2001: Saudi Arabia severs ties to the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The Saudi government was only one of three to recognize Taliban rule in the country.
» CBC News: Saudi Arabia cuts ties to Taliban