Riyadh-Located in Al-Awamiya district of Al-Qatif region in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, Al-Masoura is an old and unpopulated neighborhood. All residences were valued and landlords received financial settlements. However, the neighborhood had regrettably found its way back into the limelight as it was mentioned several terrorist attacks.
Reports of clashes between the Saudi security forces and terrorist groups were also cited.
A NEW NEIGHBORHOOD
The Saudi government is seeking the construction of a typical commercial neighborhood project in the area. Most of the project’s blueprints consisted of modern housing units for town residents. It also included a market and independent retail outlets. ‘Heritage’ is the architectural backdrop of this new project. An archaeological zone, a cultural center, a public library, a gymnasium, restaurants, banquet halls, a commercial complex, and kindergartens are all included civilian facilities.
Terrorists are considered by the kingdom to be an outlawed group which has been committed to murder, intimidation and illicit arms dealings and drug trafficking. These terror cells are on some occasions found to be affiliated with foreign entities to which they are proxies. In Saudi Arabia’s case particularly, terror rings were dedicated to provoke strife and social chaos.
AL-MASOURA AND FUGATIVE TERRORISTS
A group of terror-linked members based themselves in the Al-Masoura’s old and abandoned buildings. Given the area’s urban design, terror bases and headquarters were situated not far from civilian homes. Arms dealers and drug traffickers’ activities, sporadic fire exchanges with security men and sniper led to many deaths and injuries.
AN EXTREMISTS’ HUB
The neighborhood became a residential compound to many terrorists local to the neighborhood and nearby areas. Taking up multiple strongholds in uninhibited houses , ultra-hardliners focused their crime activities to the murder and kidnapping of citizens and clerics, armed robbery, the promotion of drugs and alcohol and arms trafficking.
Incidents of wanted non-local extremists seeking refuge in the neighborhood were registered. Jafar al-Mabrik, who was recently killed in a shootout with security forces, is not local to Al-Masoura, but had sought shelter from nearby Qatif village.
Mabrik was found in the possession of a considerable amount of arms which he attempted to hide in the neighborhood.
HOW Al-MASSOURA AND Al-AWAMIYA RESIDENTS VIEW VIOLENCE?
About 300 Eastern Province clerics, social and cultural activists promote national solidarity and publicly back government efforts in preserving security. They laud all exertions of Saudi security servicemen “in maintaining the homeland security and confronting the attempts to tamper with national stability.”
WHERE DOES THE SAUDI GOVERNMENT STAND
The Saudi government has faced these rabble-rousers, aiming to compromise the kingdom’s security and stability, with patience and issuing multiple warnings. But in a move to protect and serve national security, after the third warning is overlooked by perpetrators, security officers intervene to prevent further harm and damage from being done to the people.
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