Saudi Arabia’s Shi`i Opposition: Background and Analysis

With press reportage focusing on “Saudi Hezbollah” as the culprit of the al-Khobar Towers bombing, the challenge posed to the Saudi regime by the kingdom’s minority Shi`i population has again drawn the world’s attention. Historically, the Saudis have preferred to focus blame for internal problems on the Shi`is, rather than recognize any significant Sunni opposition; but if the Shi`i connection to al-Khobar proves accurate, than that June 25 terrorist attack — which killed 19 U.S. Air Force personnel will mark only the most recent event in a turbulent history of Saudi-Shi`i tension.

Full Text: “Saudi Arabia’s Shi`i Opposition: Background and Analysis,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy Policywatch, No. 225, November 14, 1996.