DEBKAfile: Saudi fighter jets intercepted Khobar Towers bomber
Ahmed al-Mughassi, leader of the Hizballah al-Hejaz, sought for 20 years for the 1996 Khobar Towers attack that killed 19 US service personnel and wounded 500 people, was not captured in Beirut as first reported. DEBKAfile reveals exclusively that Saudi fighter jets intercepted his private plane over the Gulf after it took off from Iran and forced it to land in Saudi Arabia. There are no details on how the Saudis found out about the flight. The Khobar Towers were the housing quarters of US air crews on security duty for Saudi oil fields.
In 2006, a US Federal judge ordered Iran to pay $254 million to the victims’ families. A 209-page ruling found the truck bomb which blew up the building was assembled at a base in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, operated by Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guards, and approved by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iran denied culpability and never responded to the ruling.