Change in Saudi attitudes?: "support for extremism has begun to change since the attacks inside Saudi Arabia, which killed local Muslims and Western workers who were guests in the country. Now Saudis see themselves as victims. Concrete barriers have gone up around major buildings, hotels and shopping malls to protect against car bombs. Dr Mohsen al-Awaji, a Saudi lawyer who represents several militants and who was imprisoned for his own militant views, believes the terrorists have gone too far and that their campaign has become "intolerable".
At his office in Riyadh, Dr al-Awaji, a pious but avuncular figure, introduced me to "Saleh", a tough, hardline imam who has fought in Afghanistan and supports Bin Laden, and has been imprisoned for some years because of his links to extremist organisations. Saleh, who said he would have been "proud" to be a September 11 hijacker, was flicking through the translated autobiography of Hillary Clinton, which seemed to reinforce his hatred of the West.
Yet he was embarrassed by the latest terror attacks inside Saudi Arabia, and viewed them as a huge mistake. I heard the same comments across the kingdom. Saudis are turning against the extremists they once supported. Even the clerics Safar bin Abdul Rahman al-Hawali and Salman al-Awdah, once so close to Osama bin Laden that he thanked them personally in videotapes for their support and for "enlightening" Muslim youth, now describe the militants as "deviants". 4:51:38 PM