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Jihad from Riyadh

Two interesting developments in recent days with Riyadh connections. In the first, from Evan Kohlmann of The Counterterrorism Blog, Zarqawi's al-Qaeda in Iraq is publicly mourning and celebrating one of its leaders killed in Iraq. "Khallad's unit was trained particularly in urban warfare and "and incorporated tactics used by the [American] marines."" Khallad was from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Kohlmann has provided a link to his English translation of the biography posted by al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The second, via Minerva at Terrorism Unveiled, is about action in Riyadh, where Fahd Faraj al-Juwayr was killed in a Saudi assault. His demise is significant in Saudi Arabia and for the greater al-Qaeda organization.

Fahd Faraj al-Juwayr, thought to be the highest ranking member of al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia, reportedly was one of the men killed in the Riyadh shootout yesterday.

There isn't any current open press speculation over who next will be the head of Saudi al-Qaida. This is quite significant. In the past, Saudi al-Qaida seemed very hierarchical, even after it stopped being so closely tied to al-Qaida senior leadership. However, after the death of Abu Hajir al-Najdi (aka Abdelaziz al Muqrin) in 2004, something curious happened. . . .