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Al Qaeda’s Unfettered Devil | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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It is said that during the holy month of Ramadan, the devils are imprisoned in hell. However, on a gentle Ramadan night, a mutinous Al Qaeda devil managed to free himself from his shackles and evade pursuit, then cloak himself in explosives and attempt to assassinate the security figure who had dealt a painful blow to Al Qaeda and its terrorist network, Assistant Interior Minister for Security Affairs, Prince Mohammed Bin Naif.

By any description, this was not just a cowardly crime, but a stupid one, as it does not serve the interests of Al Qaeda and its followers. This kind of assassination attempt will reduce the size of the support and sympathy enjoyed by Al Qaeda and its followers, and it is this support and sympathy that enables the Al Qaeda epidemic to spread and infect society at large.

In the past, Al Qaeda’s strategy was subtle and confusing, and its operations on Saudi soil was limited to targeting American interests, from targeting residential compounds, companies, individuals, and utilities. At the time, some believed these attacks to be part of a series of retaliatory battles taking place between the US and Al Qaeda in a number of countries across the world, with Saudi Arabia representing just one of these battlefronts.

Al Qaeda were able to obtain sympathy from different social classes, some of whom did not necessarily agree with its ideology due to the fact that the Arab and Muslim general public was already angry at US policy during George W. Bush’s administration. However Al Qaeda committed its greatest mistake by targeting a security centre in central Riyadh, this was followed by the fatal mistake of the failed attempt to bomb the headquarters of the Interior Ministry; these attacks decreased the sympathy and support given to this rogue group even further. Seen in this context, the recent assassination attempt on Prince Mohammed Bin Naif is just one of a series of insane and stupid blunders made by Al Qaeda, the consequences of which are yet to be known.

In order to understand these catastrophic blunders, we must look at those who have been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in security cases, from Al Qaeda recruits, to those who were affected by its ideology to one degree or another, and even those who were imprisoned for committing terrorist related crimes but who in fact were not believers. Everybody is aware that Prince Mohammed Bin Naif is in charge of these detainees, and some analysts believe that one of the reasons behind this assassination attempt was retaliation for their incarceration. If this is the case, Prince Mohammed Bin Naif will be even more committed to their incarceration. This also weakens the case of the Saudi Human Rights Organizations, who have done everything in their power to expedite the trials of the security detainees or secure their release, from opening dialogue with, and writing to, the Ministry of Interior. Now let those who plotted this insane assassination attempt imagine the miserable fate they have subjected their detained comrades to.

Following this idiotic and heinous crime, Al Qaeda must realize that the man who is in charge of its prisoners fates, and who normally is the one to receive reports and eye-witness accounts on these terrorist criminals, has this time become the victim and eye-witness himself. According to the Arab proverb “he who saw is unlike he who heard” these terrorists will no longer enjoy support or sympathy in their restless endeavors; this is because the Saudi public has now spontaneously and remarkably given this support and sympathy towards Prince Mohammed Bin Naif.