Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Security Forces: Effective Efforts in Facing Up to Dangers and Challenges | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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There is no doubt that the blessing of safety and security is a gift from God Almighty, and that only those who lose it would know its real value.

Anyone who needs proof of the importance of the blessing of safety and security need only to look at the tragedy of his brethren in fraternal Iraq, where the life of the citizen, his family, his honor, his wealth, and all his sanctities have become open to violation over night. The Iraqi tragedy has alerted us to the fact that safety and security are the keys to everything in life. Development, progress, prosperity, and stability cannot be achieved without them.

What motivated us to remind people of the blessing of safety and security is the recent announcement that the Saudi security forces discovered terrorist networks whose aim was to tamper with the security of the country and the citizen. The Saudi security forces exposed the schemes of these networks, which ranged between attacking the state institutions, threatening the lives of the citizens, and sabotaging the country’s utilities and economic institutions.

Anyone who wants proof of the extent of the danger imposed by such networks has only to check the series of bloody aggressions actually carried out by the misguided groups, or the ones that have been thwarted before or during implementation in the past three years. Also, he only has to check their literature and publications that explicitly call, pledge, and threaten to destroy the country’s institutions, and to shed the blood of every citizen who has an opinion, or a mere viewpoint that is not congruent with their misguided intellect and deviant creed. They have not left a single vital state institution without trying to attack it; they also killed many innocent women and children within their homes.

In the light of this fact, it is fair to say that there are heavy responsibilities placed on the shoulders of those working within the Saudi security organizations, responsibilities that perhaps exceed to a great extent those on the shoulders of their opposite numbers in many countries of the world. In addition to the traditional duties and responsibilities undertaken by the Interior Ministries all over the world, such as preserving law and order, fighting crime, managing traffic, securing the borders, civil defense, emergencies, and other routine duties, there are hidden burdens undertaken by the Saudi security organization in order to fulfill their noble aims.

These noble aims are represented by achieving security and stability all over the Kingdom; providing reassurance and safety to its sons, and fighting all kinds of crime, vice, and corruption in order to preserve the safety of the Saudi society and secure its progress; and securing the safety of the pilgrims, and protecting them from dangers in order that they can perform their rites and worship in complete freedom and safety. These burdens hugely exceed the burdens of the others. The first challenge that faces the Saudi Interior Ministry stems from the geographic character of the Kingdom.

It lies in many aspects, starting from the extensive area, which occupies four fifths of the Arabian Peninsula, and is estimated at 2,250,000 squared kilometers of various geographic features, numerous and divergent towns and villages, not to mention the extensive coasts and borders with eight neighboring countries, which are estimated at 6,760 km, 4,430 km of them are land borders, and 2,320 km of sea borders. Despite the fact that the geographical challenge itself leads to major problems with which the security organizations and their cadres undertake the responsibility of dealing, this challenge represents only a small part of the extensive forms of challenge.

The Kingdom is targeted, particularly by the foreign organized crime groups. Anyone who reads the data of the official annual statistics issued by these organizations, which include their activities and efforts documented with figures, will understand the depth of the problem and the volume of the challenge faced by the employees of the ministry in dealing with the activities of infiltrators, smugglers of people, drug traffickers, and smugglers of weapons and explosives. As an example, and not an exhaustive account, in 1426 AH, the security organizations arrested 544,123 infiltrators and 3,742 smugglers, and seized 7,161,411 kg of hashish, 44 bombs, 15,350sticks of dynamite, 15,456 bundles of fuses, in addition to other materials for which this is not the place to detail. In addition to all these crimes and other grave violations that disturb the security, stability, and safety of the country and the people, the security organizations shoulder the responsibility of dealing with the problems of the foreign labor force, which is a large and diversified force from many countries. The control of security during the pilgrimage and mini-pilgrimage seasons represents a unique challenge that has no equal in the world.

However much the amount of accumulated experience and knowledge, dealing with the huge human masses that have to be in a specific place at a specific time, and that belong to different civilization and social backgrounds remains a renewed challenge that requires the allocation and mobilization of huge resources in order to guarantee the safety and security of the pilgrims.

This is in addition to dealing with the repeated attempts by foreign sides to exploit the pilgrimage rituals and the sacred shrines for political purposes, and to tamper with the country’s security, and the security of the pilgrims, which is considered a basic responsibility shouldered willingly by the Saudi state. In the midst of these grave responsibilities, the terrorist activities in the Kingdom added a new challenge. The security cadres faced up to this new challenge and shouldered the responsibility of fighting these activities and protecting the country and the society from an evil that targets the blessing of safety and security, and that aims at transforming the country into a battlefield in which everything will be burned, and for which the country and the citizen will pay a price whose magnitude only God Almighty knows. If the state has not neglected at any time its duties toward the security personnel who shoulder the responsibility of providing safety and security for all, today we face a moral and humanitarian duty that requires every single one of us to recognize the huge sacrifices that have been offered, and are offered every day by these brave men who risk their lives day and night in order to preserve security and achieve stability.

The society owes a duty of recognition and gratitude to the Interior Ministry’s casualties, 60 martyrs and214 injured, whose blood has been shed unjustly at the hands of the members of the misguided groups, and to their families and children. We all have to stand against anyone who tries to encroach upon or devalue the sacrifices of these men. Were not for their sacrifices we would have become an easy prey to the foreign and domestic enemies who try to tamper with our security and the safety of our society. A fair observer of the efforts exerted by the security sectors in Saudi Arabia will find that they are well-guided and immense efforts exerted so that the sons of the Kingdom and those residing in it enjoy the blessing of safety and security, which is the pillar of every development effort, and which is the aspired for aim of all societies whatever their tendency might be; it even is the aim of all peoples without exception.