Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Saudi Attack Kills 22 Mostly Foreign Oil Workers, Sends Oil Prices Soaring

StoryJune 01, 2004
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Militants killed 22 people in the Saudi Arabian city of Khobar this weekend and held at least 40 more hostage in an upscale housing complex mainly populated by foreigners working in the oil industry. We speak with political science professor and Middle East expert As’ad AbuKhalil.

Islamic militants killed 22 people in the Saudi Arabian city of Khobar this weekend and held at least 40 more hostage in an upscale housing complex mainly populated by foreigners working in the oil industry.

Shortly after dawn on Saturday, a group of armed men dressed in military-style uniforms scaled an unguarded wall of the compound in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich eastern province and then went door to door, pulling residents from their homes.

The gunmen reportedly separated Muslims from non-Muslims, releasing a Lebanese woman after telling her they were in search of "infidels" and Westerners.

13 foreigners died in the initial attack, the others died when Saudi commandoes raided the complex in an attempt to end the 25- hour siege. Three of the four attackers escaped and remain at large.

Among the 22 people killed were workers from Asia, Africa and Europe, as well as four Saudis and an American. A militant web site has posted an audio statement by a leader of al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia, taking responsibility for the attacks. In the statement, he says the attack was an attempt to destabilize worldwide oil markets and the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

Oil prices rose sharply in opening trading today in response to the attack. Prices hit 20-year highs in May but eased last week after Saudi Arabia pledged to increase production and urged OPEC to do the same. The attack is the third on foreigners in Saudi Arabia in a month.

  • As’ad AbuKhalil, professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley. He is the author of several books including Bin Laden, Islam, and America’s New "War on Terrorism" and the forthcoming book Saudi Arabia and The US: The Tale of the Good Taliban. He runs a new blog called "The Angry Arab News Service."

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation