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Another Thing to Rock Our World

Walter Russell Mead

While most Americans were enjoying their Independence Day barbecues, a series of suicide bombings rocked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Wall Street Journal:

A suicide bomber struck near one of Islam’s holiest sites in Medina, killing four security guards. Around the same time a second suicide bombing attacked a mosque in the eastern city Qatif, home to many of the country’s Shiite Muslim minority. Body parts from three suspected suicide bombers were found near the site, the interior ministry said.

The evening attacks came hours after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt that wounded two near a U.S. diplomatic site in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

At time of writing, no one had claimed responsibility for the attacks, though many eyes are on ISIS, which has claimed to be behind the recent spate of outrages in Istanbul and Dhaka.

These attacks are occurring at a particularly unfortunate moment in world history. Of course, any additional sense of insecurity in the Kingdom could lead to more upheaval in the Middle East. But it would not take a lot of unrest in Saudi Arabia to unsettle the world as a whole even more than it already is. Anything that disrupted or threatened to disrupt oil production or transit in the Kingdom would send financial markets into a meltdown. With the world economy already slow and central bankers holding interest rates to historical lows, an oil price shock is the last thing we need.

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