ISIL/ Daesh Threatens to attack Saudi Arabia after Executions

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) has pledged to attack and destroy the two Saudi political prisons, al-Ha’ir (Riyadh) and al-Tarfiya (Qaseem region), where Muslim radicals are typically held, and release their inmates. These prisons hold several thousand Saudis accused of involvement in terrorism. It was the organization’s first response to Saudi’s execution of dozens of accused terrorists last Saturday.

Analysts said that the announcement was an indirect rejection of any deal for the exchange of prisoners with Saudi Arabia.

In the organization’s weekly magazine, “al-Naba'”(News), as reported at al-Bawaba, it carried an article condemning the Saudi monarchy for executing 47 prisoners last Saturday. Although most attention has focused on the four Shiites among them, including cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, because of the Iranian reaction, the bulk of those executed were al-Qaeda members who carried out terrorist attacks on Riyadh and other Saudi cities in a campaign that lasted from 2003 to 2006. Daesh called the terrorists “Unitarians” or “Monotheists,” which is what Saudi’s Wahhabi branch of Islam calls itself.

It said of those executed “dozens of them were men we consider the best of the unitarians, rather jihadis in the path of God.”

Daesh said that the Saudis were implicitly announcing a new policy, of mass incarceration of Daesh sympathizers (“unitarians”), so as to use them as hostages whereby to threaten the jihadis. In response, Daesh said it would kill any official holding Daesh prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

They said that other regimes had attempted this tactic, including the Alawites of Syria and the Shiites of Iraq, and it had yielded nothing but the collapse of their power at the hands of the holy warriors. They pointed out that they had emptied three prisons in Iraq of their inmates, in Tikrit and Ninewah Provinces.

The article went on to attack the founder of the modern Saudi state, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, as having fooled the Saudi Bedouin into supporting him on the grounds he was a unitarian or strict monotheist, whereas he and the clerics who supported him were corrupt.

Fascinatingly, this critique of Ibn Saud was common among a Saudi rural fundamentalist movement, the Ikhwan or Brethren, in the 1920s (over his introduction of the radio and his treaties with Christian Britain and with regional powers), and led to the Ikhwan rebellion of 1928-1930, which Ibn Saud put down with the help of the urban population. It was a turning point, after which the Saudi monarchs’ power base was increasingly urban. Rural discontents have remained strong (Saudi Arabia is 87 percent urban now), and this article suggests that some section of Daesh is made up of Neo-Wahhabi Brethren.

Daesh also maintains that the Saudi royal family (there are 7,000 princes but perhaps a dozen really consequential ones) is riven with power rivalries, and that rivals of King Salman are saying that they can take on the Muslim radicals more effectively than he has.

The allegation makes some sense of why the king may have felt it necessary to stage a spectacle of mass executions last Saturday– he is fending off law and order candidates seeking to weaken him and ultimately replace him.

Of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Nayef, the minister of interior, and Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, the minister of defense, the article said that the former wars on the unitarians inside the kingdom, and the latter attacks them abroad.

The article may be vastly exaggerating, of course, but it depicts Daesh as having extensive cells inside Saudi Arabia, which so pose a threat to the monarchy that it was panicked by internal criticism into that mass execution, as a show of force.


Related video:

“ISIS ‘Declare War on Saudi Arabia’ || World News”

6 Responses

  1. I’m with Daesh on this one! Hopefully in the end they destroy each other, but not only is Saudi Arabia a brutal and arbitrary dictatorship, whos is on it last legs as its economy heads south, but it’s a de facto ally of Israel!

  2. From Sydney J. Harris, Pieces of Eight, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1982:

    Our sermonette today is on terrorism, and our text is taken from Exodus 20:5: “The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the children.” This means, of course, the sins of the founding fathers as well as the physical fathers.

    If you look around the world today — if you can bear to — you will see that everything we describe as terrorism comes from one source and one source only, no matter the geographical or political differences.

    In Ireland, in Palestine, in Holland, in South Africa — it matters not where — the frightful acts of terrorism are all the result of the same thing: aggression, exploitation, and colonization of one people by another.

    The English had no business in Ireland, and especially not the dirty business they engaged in for centuries. The Dutch had no business taking over the Spice Islands in the Pacific. The British and the Boers, like the French and the Portuguese and others, had no business taking over and carving up large sections of the African continent. As for Palestine, now Israel, it has had the most tragic history of all — overrun by a dozen different powers and religions, from the Romans and the Turks to the Egyptians, the Mamelukes, and the British.

    All these accumulated sins of the centuries — and all, basically, the same sin of greed for other people’s property — are finally being visited upon the children and the children’s children. For if you examine the roots of each of the current conflicts in terrorist activities, you find that they are deeply entangled in the same historical injustice.

    And the compounded tragedy today is that there is no simple black-and-white answer. Only zealots see right against wrong. The rest of us see it as two rights in collision, with no possibility of justice being done to both. This is the price the children pay for their fathers’ sins. Nothing we can do will wash out the past, make it clean again.

    Terrorism is barbarous and prideful and unfair and most often counterproductive. But so is aggression, so is exploitation, so is colonization. We in the United States will continue to suffer for a long time for slavery, a short-run “benefit” that has turned into a long-run nightmare. We are paying a high price for our seizure of Puerto Rico, just as England is now suffering from its past colonial policies.

    Terrorists are made, not born, and are heroes to themselves, willing to die to vindicate their cause. They can be killed, but there is no way to extinguish the past. All of us, innocent though we may feel, must suffer for the sins of our fathers, and the best we can do is to make sure we do not pass a similar dread inheritance to our own children.

  3. this ought to be funny. two terrorist organizations having a go at it. Yes, I consider the state of Saudi Arabia to be a terrorist organization. so the two groups “deserve” each other. Both violate women’s rights, human rights, both say one thing and do another. We have the Saudi’s doing their pious routine at home and then going to western countries and acting like pigs. We have the ISIS groups selling off antiquities they consider inappropriate, etc.

    if those two groups go to war, lets hope the west is smart enough to stay out of it. Way out of it. The Saudi’s are not our friends.

  4. Congratulations P R Williams on sharing such POWERFUL Commentary Piece!

    link to

    “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that ….”

    Galatians 6:7-9

    Pelayo Pelayo

  5. I’m not clear on who exactly are the unitarians (monotheists).
    Paragraph 3 says the Saudi Wahhabis call themselves unitarian. The next-to-last paragraph says Saudi officials are warring with unitarians inside and outside the Kingdom.

    • Paragraph 3 says that the Saudi Wahhabis have traditionally called themselves unitarians.

      The rest of the article is a summary of a Daesh article that maintains that Daesh is the real unitarians and the Saudi claim is phony.

Comments are closed.