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The latest list released by the Saudi security authorities of the names and photographs of the wanted men amounts to a resounding reminder that the battle on terrorism continues and that the takfiri ideology [the ideas embraced by those who hold other Muslims to be infidels] continues to thrive and feed the minds of the youth in all sorts of ways. Its release of the list also shows that there are sides that are benefiting from feeding the suicide caravans with more and more ready elements.

The long list of names came to make clear that it seems that the base that is feeding military extremism has moved to Yemen. It has turned this country into a suitable haven for the terrorist movements in view of the absence of the state and its executive security elements from most of the country with the exception of some major towns. This vacuum has enabled some tribes that wish to increase their sphere of influence and expand their sources of income to manipulate and control the situation. It has led to satanic alliances between some of these elements and the terrorist gangs. The dangerous presence of this large number of rogues – that have been lured by sterile ideas, thoughts, and opinions to a new jihadist land neighboring the land of the Two Holy Mosques – reflects a very serious escalation of terrorist fundamentalist agitation. This means that a different approach is needed to deal with these people.

Saudi Arabia has taken some amazingly positive steps in some cases through its security program in confronting the radical movements. It is not strange to say that the Saudi security program has achieved results that exceeded the expectations of all countries that have been subjected to terrorism. Some parts of this program are being applied in other countries. However, the recent development requires a different approach in which civic society participates and shares in shouldering the responsibility of its success. The venomous tracts continue to exist and to be published and distributed. They are full of poisonous fatwas that pollute the naturally pliable minds and transform them into mines ready to explode. These books are filled with sermons, speeches and chants that are full of misleading and deviant slogans and expressions that have led to large numbers of innocent victims. A stronger and firmer deterrent action is needed against those that continue to commit their violations. The least that can be said about these people is that they are basic accomplices in these crimes and definitely share in bearing the consequences.

It is dangerous for society to remain distant and aloof as it watches this glaring peril and considers it as nothing more than news. Everyone should feel that they are all involved and that they are all threatened. All should feel that this confrontation and the war that is proclaimed against them is beyond question and is a battle that cannot be lost. The people are looking forward to a new language and a different kind of mobilization. The continued ability of these radical and misguided groups to recruit more and more young Saudi elements and in sizable numbers shows that there are gaps in the wall of confrontation that are being used to vent these destructive poisons. Now that the period of amazement, the reading of the list and the cries of astonishment and surprise have passed, it is necessary to gather and prioritize our thoughts. We should design a plan that would include the maximum degree of participation by government and public sides. This is not the battle of the Saudi Interior Ministry alone but the battle of Saudi Arabia and all the Saudis. As public opinion surveys show, the prospects for scoring a crushing victory over the terrorist bands are rising because the Saudi people are not convinced of the intentions of these terrorist bands. All that remains is putting together a plan and implementing it.

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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