Especially since September 11, 2001, the Islamic kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been viewed as a breeding ground for militant Islamic terrorist activity. Osama bin Laden hails from Saudi Arabia, but the kingdom’s ties to the U.S. and other Western governments have set him and other militant Muslims in stark opposition to the Saudi royal family. In a fashion reminiscent of other al Qaeda attacks, a series of car bombs were detonated in the capital city of Riyadh in May 2003, just hours before a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. The Saudi government was again forced to take notice of the domestic threat to its stability after suicide bombers struck a housing compound in November, this time killing 17 civilians. Recent terrorist incidents inside Saudi Arabia have seen Western individuals and businesses targeted by small groups of assailants.