AL KHOBAR, SAUDI ARABIA – Sometimes those who live by the sword die by it.
I am not going to try and sugar coat my feelings for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Yes, I have visited on three or four occasions and met with local counter terrorism officials many, many times, but I have no respect for what the KSA stands for. Whence my distaste? Simple. Saudi Arabia is largely responsible for what we know as Islamist terrorism.
The Saudi ‘invented’ an intolerant, hateful interpretation of Islam which is generally referred to as ‘Wahhabism‘, after an eponymous founder in the mid 18th century in central-north Arabia (before it was called ‘Saudi’ Arabia). This aberrant faith underpins much of the ideology of groups such as Al Qaeda (AQ) and Islamic State (ISIS) among others.
Another reason I really don’t like the current bunch of Saudi leaders can be summarised in one small acronym: MBS. This of course is Muhammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince and head honcho in waiting, who has, shall we say interesting, ways of dealing with dissidents. The seizure, murder and dismemberment of Jamal Kashoggi at the KSA Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 is one thing I point to in this regard. It is not for nothing that MBS is widely read as ‘Mister Bone Saw’.
I must therefore sheepishly admit to having a certain sense of schadenfreude when the Kingdom itself is attacked by the very people whose ideology was born out of Saudi Islam.
On this is day in 2004
Islamist terrorists attacked a residential complex in the Saudi port industrial city of Al Khobar, killing 22 and wounding another 25. Many of the victims were foreign energy sector workers.
The terrorist attack in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, was a cowardly and despicable act of murder.Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Bandar bin Sultan
In a statement on a website known to feature AQ a group calling itself “The Jerusalem Squadron” said a group of “brave fighters” attacked “Zionists and crusaders” who are in Khobar to “steal our oil and resources.” It was not the first, and will not be the last, attack by AQ on Saudi Arabia.
Sometimes chickens, even of the jihadi variety, come home to roost.
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