According to a new book exclusively obtained by the Huffington Post, Saudi Arabia has crafted a plan to protect itself from a possible invasion or internal attack. It includes the use of a series of explosives, including radioactive “dirty bombs,” that would cripple Saudi Arabian oil production and distribution systems for decades.

Bestselling author Gerald Posner lays out this “doomsday scenario” in his forthcoming “Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Saudi-US Connection” (Random House).

posner_cover.jpgAccording to the book, which will be released to the public on May 17, based on National Security Agency electronic intercepts, the Saudi Arabian government has in place a nationwide, self-destruction explosive system composed of conventional explosives and dirty bombs strategically placed at the Kingdom’s key oil ports, pipelines, pumping stations, storage tanks, offshore platforms, and backup facilities. If activated, the bombs would destroy the infrastructure of the world’s largest oil supplier, and leave the country a contaminated nuclear wasteland ensuring that the Kingdom’s oil would be unusable to anyone. The NSA file is dubbed internally Petro SE, for petroleum scorched earth.

To make certain that the damaged facilities cannot be rebuilt, the Saudis have deployed crude Radioactive Dispersal Devices (RDDs) throughout the Kingdom. Built covertly over several years, these dirty bombs are in place at -- among other locations -- all eight of the Kingdom’s refineries, sections of the world’s largest oil field at Ghawar, and at three of the ten indispensable processing towers at the largest-ever processing complex at Abqaiq.
According to the NSA intercepts, Petro SE was devised by the Saudis because of their overriding fear that if an internal revolt or external attack threatened the survival of the House of Saud, the U.S. and other Western powers might abandon them as the Shah of Iran was abandoned in 1979. Only by having in place a system that threatened to create crippling oil price increases, political instability and economic recessions did the royal family believe it could coerce Western military powers to keep them in power.

Some American and Israeli officials privately believe that Saudi officials have been aware for more than a decade that their conversations were monitored, and that as a result they greatly exaggerated Petro SE in order to blackmail the West into protecting them at all costs. For the Saudis, the threat to the U.S. and other powers works so long as those countries cannot be certain of the extent of the “self-destruction grid.”

Posner chronicles an over twenty-five year multinational intelligence gathering operation that exposes Petro SE -- the House of Saud’s “nuclear” insurance policy to escape the fate of Saddam Hussein and the Shah of Iran.
“Although the NSA is not certain of the radioactive elements finally used by the Saudis, they believe Petro SE successfully developed dozens of radiation dispersal devices,” Posner writes.

“These RDDs that the Saudis have integrated into their oil infrastructure are far less lethal than traditional nuclear weapons. The risk is not mass fatal casualties as with a nuclear explosive, but rather increased cancer rates over many years. In the short run, the psychological fear that an area is contaminated by radiation might be so great as to make it commercially unproductive.”

Posner is an award-winning author of nine books, including "Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11" and "Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK", and has written for such publications as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and U.S. News & World Report.