In the news surrounding the Saudi statement on its capture of suspected terrorists over the past six months (see Marisa’s links here and here and here), one thing stood out: 40 Mauritanians were arrested in Saudi’s oil-rich Eastern Province, some (all?) of whom were part of a cell that planned to attack oil installations in the province.
I’ve written before on the repeated blipping of Mauritania on my radar screen and Alle has helped me understand (here and here) the rise of Islamist militancy in that country. But why are so many involved in militancy in faraway places like Saudi and Afghanistan/Pakistan? Why not just join al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb?