The Saudi intelligence has emerged as a major ally of the US against al-Qaeda, with the collaboration appearing to have intensified over the past two years, the New York Times reported today.
The new collaboration comes despite a long history of mistrust rooted in the role of Saudi hijackers in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre.
The crucial testing ground for the new partnership is Yemen where the al-Qaeda continues to plan attacks against Western targets even after the killing of its chief ideologue Anwar al-Maliki, an American-born firebrand cleric, in a drone strike in the Yemeni desert last September.
Quoting Western intelligence sources, the paper said that the Saudi-US partnership appears to be a big success as even Middle-Eastern intelligence agencies have been unable to recruit agent within al-Qaeda affiliates, let alone within the tight-knit central core of the group.
The officials said the case of the would-be 'underwear bomber' appears to be a textbook example of success, run with the Saudi allies.
The NYT quoting a senior American intelligence official said Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef Ibn Abdul Aziz oversaw the recent operations to use the Saudi informant to thwart the latest airliner plot.