A plot against Saudi Arabia's royal family was narrowly thwarted in late 1979-by an apparent stroke of fortune. The conspiracy to undermine Saudi Arabia is far from dead. At stake -one of the last bulwarks against Soviet expansionism in the Middle East. At dawn last November 20 - the first day of the Moslem year 1400 - 50 men arrived at the Grand Mosque in Mecca bearing coffins. The sight did not attract undue attention. Mourners often bring bodies to the mosque to pray over. The 50 men were gradually joined by another 450, dressed as religious pilgrims. As morning prayers ended, some of the group threw open the coffins -and pulled out weapons. Others hurriedly locked the mosque's 48 doors according to their well-planned timetable. Guards were cut down in the ensuing gunfire. Hundreds of hostages were taken. The Grand Mosque Islam's holiest shrine - was captured!
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