Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a member of the Saudi royal family responsible for the kingdom's anti-terror fight, escaped a suicide bomb attack in Jeddah last night, the official news agency SPA reported. The deputy interior minister suffered only superficial injuries after the suicide bomber got close to him and detonated his explosives, the agency said quoting a royal court statement. The Saudi wing of al Qa'eda was swift in claiming responsibility.
In a statement posted on an Islamist website, al Qa'eda in the Arabian Peninsula said it was behind the bomb, according to the US-based monitoring group, SITE Intelligence. The bomber was the only casualty. Prince Mohammed was receiving guests at the end of the day's fasting, SPA said. The royal court said the bomber was a wanted terrorist who had approached the prince under the pretext he wanted to give himself up.
Saudi television showed images of the prince after the attack meeting King Abdullah. He did not seem affected by his ordeal. Earlier this month, the Saudi interior ministry announced that over the past year it has arrested a suspected network of 44 militants who were planning to carry out attacks in the country and had seized large caches of weapons and explosives meant for attacks within the Kingdom. *AFP