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Another Achievement for Saudi Security - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Another round with terrorism! This was the expression on the lips of the Saudi Arabian citizens when they received the news that a group of dangerous suspects who were planning and financing acts of terrorism in different parts of the country had been arrested. The announcement of the arrest of this terrorist cell came only a few days before the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Interior Ministry statement contained important and significant information.

44 suspects were arrested; 43 of whom were Saudi nationals, whilst the remaining suspect was an unnamed foreign national. The number of Saudi nationals involved in such operations has increased, and previous such operations were primarily conducted by foreign nationals. Many of those arrested possess higher education degrees, and among the items seized by the security apparatus were, 67 machine guns, 22,000 bullets, 376 electronic remote detonators, and 20 boxes of ammunition. This arsenal was buried in different locations throughout Saudi Arabia in a professional manner.

It is clear that this group had suspicious ties to foreign agitators who embrace the same extremist and militant ideology. They exploited the flaws in charitable effort to raise massive funds which enabled them to purchase ordnance and weaponry and recruit [Saudi] youth. The Ministry of Interior has managed to add a resounding victory to its war on terror by launching a series of intensive and well-directed pre-emptive strikes against such groups. This could be attributed to development in the performance of the security forces in Saudi Arabia, and the advancement in their training methods and equipment which in turn led to an unprecedented increase in their level of readiness and expertise. This has allowed Saudi security forces to become one of the best security agencies in the world in terms of effectiveness and achieving positive results with respect to combating terrorism and its crucial challenges.

This obvious improvement in the performance of the Saudi security forces is down to Prince Mohammed Bin Naif, and the effectiveness of his strategy to boost their performance and achieve better results. Perhaps the Saudi Arabians still remember the campaign to get people to fasten their seat belts, and how the Ministry of Interior launched a campaign to raise awareness of this which included flowers being handed out to drivers at traffic lights. This campaign achieved extremely positive results. Today, despite slight differences, a similar campaign has managed to achieve positive results. This has generated a sense of pride and satisfaction towards the Saudi security forces. It is not an exaggeration to say that a feeling of pride wells up whenever talk turns to the Interior Ministry or its forces, and this is a feeling similar to the feeling of pride one feels when the Saudi national football team wins a crucial match.

However it is important to say that achievements of the Ministry of Interior and its security forces are far greater than what those who are responsible for ideologically confronting the terrorists have achieved, as this is still below the required level. Evidence of this is that sections of Saudi youth are still falling into the bottomless pit of terrorism and extremism.

Saudi Arabians have every right to take pride in an honorable security victory that adds to their record of achievements. They have every right as well to supplicate Almighty God during this holy month of Ramadan and recite the eternal prayer “O my Lord! Make this city one of peace and security.”

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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