Less than a week after arriving here in Saudi Arabia I hear the news that an American was shot and killed in Riyadh; four hours away from where I am. It’s not the first time this has happened. It’s not the first time foreign nationals have been targeted. There was another incident in 2003; a much more bloodier one.
In May 2003 a bombing took place at three compounds inhabited by Westerners in Riyadh. At that bombing at least 29 Westerners were killed and over 190 injured. Ten of those killed were Americans.
It strikes a bit of fear in your heart when you know you will be in this country for the next twelve months at least. However, I am assured by all the staff here that these are rare occurrences.
Rumor has it that, Abdul Aziz bin Fahad al-Rasheed, 25 year old was fired by the victim after remarks about his work performance not being up to par with company expectations.
Here is the full piece by Al Arabiya News:
A U.S. citizen was killed and another was wounded east of the Saudi capital Riyadh on Tuesday by unidentified gunman, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Tuesday, citing the police.
Security forces arrested the gunman following the afternoon attack at a petrol station in eastern Riyadh, a police spokesman said in a statement carried by the SPA state news agency.
“The attack resulted in the killing of one person and wounding another and it turned out they were of American
citizenship,” the statement said.
Police said the attack happened when the two stopped their vehicle at a filling station in an eastern district of the
A spokesman for the Saudi interior ministry said that the defendant is Abdul Aziz bin Fahad al-Rasheed, a 25-year-old Saudi citizen born in the United States.
Al-Rasheed has also worked at Vinnell Arabia along with the victim but was dismissed from his job due to remarks on his behavior, the spokesman said.
The perpetrator appears to have no ties with extremist groups, he added.
The last reported killings of Westerners by armed assailants in Saudi Arabia happened in 2007 when three French nationals were shot dead while camping in the northwest of the country.
Got to be careful around these parts.