An Arab Cabal?

Mrs. Goldblog notes this unusual use of the term "cabal" in a story from the Independent, an article about a move by Gulf Arabs to dump the dollar:

The Americans, who are aware the meetings have taken place - although they have not discovered the details - are sure to fight this international cabal which will include hitherto loyal allies Japan and the Gulf Arabs. Against the background to these currency meetings, Sun Bigan, China's former special envoy to the Middle East, has warned there is a risk of deepening divisions between China and the US over influence and oil in the Middle East. "Bilateral quarrels and clashes are unavoidable," he told the Asia and Africa Review. "We cannot lower vigilance against hostility in the Middle East over energy interests and security."

Mrs. Goldblog notes that this is the first time in her memory the term "cabal" has been used to describe a group of Arabs, rather than the usual suspects. I pointed out only that Arabs are Semites, and so perhaps there was some confusion in the writing process.