Radicals Targeting Saudi Royals

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by wonderwench, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. wonderwench

    wonderwench Guest

    More good news in the War on Terror.

    The sponsors and exporters of Wahabbisim are now reaping what they have sown.

    SAUDI royals are now squarely in the sight of radical Islamists.

    After the terror bombings in Riyadh on May 12, the Saudi security apparatus started cracking down on homegrown terrorists.
    Royal targets Prince Sultan (top) and his brother Prince Nayef (below). -- AFP

    Since that attack, and another on Nov 8, even senior princes who were once close to the Islamists - Defence Minister Prince Sultan and Interior Minister Prince Nayef, for instance, both brothers of ailing King Fahd - have found themselves at the top of the list of those the radicals have chosen for assassination.

    Shortly before the May 12 assaults, when 19 suspects escaped a raid on their hideout, Saudi security sources confirmed that Osama bin Laden had named the two princes as the cell's targets.

    And, according to senior security sources, both were again the main targets of an Islamist cell subsequently broken up in Al-Qasim, a region to the north of Riyadh known as the heartland of Wahhabism. Some 20 tonnes of explosives stockpiled underground were discovered at the time.

    An e-mail message, purportedly from Al-Qaeda, also threatened revenge against the Saudi royal family over reports that police killed two clerics during a roundup of militants connected with the May 12 attacks.

    'Sheikh Osama (bin Laden) and the leaders of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan are closely following reports of the deaths of Sheikh Ali al-Khodeir and Sheikh Ahmed al-Khalidi,' said the message, reported by the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi.

    'If it was especially confirmed that Sheikh Ali al-Khodeir was martyred, then our response against the Al-Saud family would be as great as the sheikh is to us,' the e-mail added.

    A clearly shaken Prince Nayef gave a public assurance the same day that the three had been captured, but not killed, adding they were being held unharmed and had even been visited by their near and dear. There were other indications that the prince was taking the threats to his life personally.

    A 4m-high reinforced concrete wall was erected the following week around his already heavily fortified Interior Ministry building in Jeddah.

    Sheikhs Khodeir and Khalidi and another cleric, Nasser al-Fahd, were arrested during a roundup of militants in the holy city of Medina.

    They enjoy a massive following among Saudi Arabia's radicalised youth, and had urged Saudis to help foil a manhunt for the 19 militants who escaped the May shootout with police.

    However, in prime-time television interviews, they later rescinded the contents of fatwas posted on websites while they were on the run and which called for attacks against security personnel.

    The government-controlled media made much of their repentance and the Western media talked of a defining moment in the Saudi 'war on terror'.

    But the state security apparatus - which has been in the forefront of the recent crackdown on Islamists in Saudi Arabia, earning the wrath of both Al-Qaeda sympathisers within their ranks and those who have taken up arms independently - has itself come under recent attack.

    Just last month, a car belonging to a senior Saudi security officer was blown up. Lieutenant-Colonel Ibrahim al-Dhaleh escaped by the skin of his teeth.

    The Brigade of the Two Holy Mosques, a radical Saudi Islamist group affiliated with, or at least heavily inspired by, Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for that attack.

    It also said it was behind an attempt to kill Major-General Abdel-Aziz al-Huweirini, the No. 3 official in the Interior Ministry, who was shot in the capital at the beginning of last month.

    The group warned Lt-Col Dhaleh 'and those like him' against pursuing their war against Islamists in Saudi Arabia.

    News that the security forces on Sunday defused a bomb placed in a telephone booth in Riyadh, and another at a power distribution station in a city suburb, again underlined that the militants' zeal has been little dented.

    According to self-appointed Al-Qaeda spokesmen, the organisation is holding off from a full-scale assault against the Al-Saud because their 'separate fingers will become an iron fist' if their rule is threatened directly.

    Better, they say, to let the members of the royal family squabble among themselves over reforms, as popular resentment grows at increasingly difficult economic circumstances.

    Thus, an increasingly unstable Saudi Arabia would remain fertile recruiting ground for arms, money and, most importantly, volunteers.

    However, those killing members of the security forces evidently do not buy into that logic, seeing instead a need to move away from targeting civilians to killing security officers and members of the royal family.

    This appears to be mainly due to the revulsion that the Nov 8 Riyadh attack provoked among ordinary Saudis. (more)

  2. 5stringJeff

    5stringJeff Senior Member

    Sep 15, 2003
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    Puyallup, WA
    Oh boy... forgive me if I'm not sad about losing the Saudi leaders who allowed Wahhabi Islam to grow in the first place. Good freakin' riddance.
  3. wonderwench

    wonderwench Guest

    This is additional evidence that the Bush Administration has successfully moved the frontline of the Jihad back to the Middle East.

    As you said, Good Riddance!

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