149 Alleged Terrorists arrested in Saudi Arabia

Authorities in Saudi Arabia, according to Al-Sharq al-Awsat writing in Arabic, have arrested 149 persons organized in 19 cells on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism. The cells were operating independently of one another. Among their alleged targets were Saudi government buildings and military installations. Aljazeera Arabic is reporting that some intended to hit petroleum facilities but Saudi officials are downplaying that charge. (Oil investors are nervous creatures and Riyadh doesn’t want a spike in petroleum futures that would accelerate even further the rush to build wind turbines in the West.

I found it amusing that the Aljazeera Arabic report says that the suspects were accused by Saudi officials of spreading hate speech and encouraging the denunciation of other Muslims as infidels. In the 18th century, the Wahhabi school of Islam was denounced by the urbane Ottoman sultans in Istanbul on precisely these grounds. But Wahhabism is changing, and trying to escape the shadow of al-Qaeda. For one thing, Wahhabis have had a more than two century-old alliance with the Saudi dynasty, whereas al-Qaeda wants to overthrow it.

CNN has a good video report on the arrests s.

5 Responses

  1. I must caution everyone about saudi government. The saudi government itself holds within its shura council and all over its justice system and local governments wahhabis who demonize and excommunicate the mass of all Muslims from Islam day and night. Them accusing al-Qaeda of denunciating other Muslims is just so hypocritical.

    Now that their own dear salafis have broken away from them are attacking them in return, they cry foul of being denunciated themselves. They should shrink into their own shirt and have a deeper look at themselves.

    Its history repeating again and again. Saud had to face an ikhwan revolt in the early 20th century, which he crushed, and now they seem to have it again over time.

    There are even examples of the moderate saudi government salafis [madkhalis] denunciating their own members time and again.

  2. a you well know – news of “149″ is best digested in relation to other news – like superbowlhalftime where those antics overshadow the players.
    you keep us informed and alert – Thank you

  3. Tricky and yet amusing business, them using “terrorism” as a pretext to arrest a bunch of people who presumably oppose the Saudi dictatorship, and yet also they need to simultaneously reassure their oil investors that there is no threat of “terrorism”.

  4. Thomas, this is the modern usage of the word “terrorist” in most countries.
    Actually… now that I think about it…. it’s not that modern at all

  5. In my opinion, understanding the Saudi government’s actions as “Wahhabi” actions is a grave mistake.
    “Wahhabism” is a religious movement that mainly emphasizes the return to the roots of Islam, and, as far as I know, do not criticize except what they deem as deviation from what Islamic sources indicate. They do not consider other Muslims as non-Muslims at all, they simply disagree with what they see as mistakes. Such a claim (ahmad) needs sufficient backing.

    The Saudi government, although allied with the “Wahhabi” movement, does not represent changes in “Wahhabi” ideology, it represents government politics; though they do often take them into consideration.

    Other sects “concentrated in Iran”, it would be interesting to note, actually do “excommunicate” all other Muslims who do not believe in the infidelity of 99% of the Prophet Mohammad’s companions (which includes around 90% of Muslims). Isn’t that right ahmad?

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