Daesh trying to create divisions
It came as no surprise that the suicide bomber of the Shiite mosque in Kuwait was a Saudi citizen, yet it pained everyone. In May, the suicide bombers of the two mosques in eastern Saudi Arabia were also Saudis. A video showed that a terrorist arrested in Iraq was also a Saudi, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is better known as Daesh, has announced that one of its Saudi fighters has been killed.
Meanwhile, last month Al-Nusrah Front said one of its field commanders, a Saudi national, was killed. In April, an American drone attack in Yemen killed a Saudi citizen from among Al-Qaeda leaders. The list goes on.
The picture I just drew reveals a wave of extremists. Most of those killed or who are still fighting across the world are youth, most under the age of 30. Most Saudi extremists today were children when the Sept. 11 attacks happened. Those attacks shocked Saudi society then, as 15 of those who carried out the crime were Saudi nationals, accompanied by two Emiratis, a Lebanese and an Egyptian.
Back then the question was to why Al-Qaeda chose such a large number of people from one country when it has hundreds of fighters from other countries? At that time, we said that the organization targeted Saudi Arabia when it attacked the United States in order to pit the two countries against one another. There were fierce calls to punish Riyadh, as many considered the Kingdom as a “problem.” These calls only dissipated when then US President George W. Bush chose Iraq as a target for revenge.
The question now is why do the Saudis not fix their society and prevent intellectual deviance? It is clear that those deviants, who are in their thousands, are a product of extremism, otherwise that Saudi national would not have gone to Kuwait acting on a mere phone call he received from some Daesh bigwig.
The killer carried out the vicious attack as if he was under some spell. He blew himself up — killing 27 and injuring 300 — just a few hours after arriving in Kuwait.
Carrying out the attack required no more than issuing an order to head to a place he may have never visited before. The Daesh representative received him at the airport, provided him with an explosives belt and transported him to the mosque to commit the heinous crime. How many deviants in Saudi Arabia await such phone calls to blow themselves up without questioning those people?
Extremism is not just Saudi Arabia’s problem, as Tunisia, Morocco and dozens of other countries have a large share of fighters among extremist organizations. However, the situation will not improve by evading the truth and making excuses. Extremism has been a problem since politics found its way into the mosques in the 1980s, and since clerics began to issue fatwas (religious edicts) on various political affairs.
Without acknowledging the spread of extremist ideologies, it will not be possible to fight and eliminate terrorism, because whenever extremists are arrested, others will take their place. It is wrong to view this as just a security problem, as it is snowballing into a political crisis. Extremists are a huge threat to their respective countries’ security as well as to the world’s and they jeopardize interests and relations.
Some are evading responsibility under the excuse that it is a general problem, and say proof of that is Iran has dispatched tens of thousands of extremists fighting in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The difference between Iran and us is that the Saudi terrorists threaten Saudi Arabia before any other country. Iranian terrorists are engaged in bodies affiliated with their government, such as the army.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, Riyadh sought to repair the relations that the 15 Saudi hijackers almost destroyed. It succeeded, but with great difficulty. However, a new round of terrorism and blame game has now begun.