First reports indicate at least three cars, loaded with explosives, were rammed into the outer perimeter of Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil facility.
This is the first time there has been a serious attempt by militants or terrorists to attack the most important, and most heavily guarded, oil facility in the world.
Within minutes of the attack reaching the news wires, oil futures were rising steadily, peaking two dollars above the price per barrel before the attack began.
Anti-American militants claim Saudi oil facilities are legitimate targets for attack because the Saudis have partnerships with the US that keep massive oil profits flowing out of the Gulf region.
And yet, every attack staged by terorrists and militants (in oil producing countries like Iraq) edge up the price of oil and increase the profits of US and Western owned oil producers and distributors.
This fact is one of the most glaring, and curious, ironies in the Terror War, or 'Long War', as it has now been rebranded by US President Bush and Defence Secretary, Donal Rumsfeld.
From the UK's Guardian : "Three cars rammed the first of the three sets of gates protecting Abqaiq and when security shot at them all three cars exploded," said Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi security adviser. All occupants of the cars were killed but it was unclear how many were inside, he said, adding that the incident occurred about a mile from the main entrance to the facility.
"The attack was stopped at the first security cordon. The cars were not able to get in ... no blast occurred within the plant perimeter," another adviser told Reuters.
Early reports on what actually happened outside the oil facility have been extremely mixed.
Bombers claiming to belong to Al Qaeda have now posted a statement on a website claiming to be responsible for todays' failed attack, and they're now threatening to attack more Saudi oil facilities.
Wow, what a strategy. Nothing like tipping off your targets before you strike.
Al Jazeera has run a story claiming there were two cars full of explosives and the bombs exploded outside the gates of the facility, killing two guards and one attacker.
"Accounts of Friday's assault varied, with Saudi police officials saying that attackers were driving two cars that tried to enter cross the gates of the outer fence of the heavily fortified facility before guards open fire on the cars and both vehicles explode, whereas Arabic-language satellite TV channels state that only one car exploded. TV channels also said that Saudi guards killed the driver of the second car before it exploded."