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Saudi Arabia…Terrorism with Degrees in Higher Education - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The title of this article not only intends to reveal that most members of the terrorist cell that Saudi Arabia discovered recently have higher education degrees, as this comes as no surprise, but also that terrorism is now being sponsored by states and the media, and political parties that talk about democracy.

When we say it comes as no surprise that some of the terrorists have degrees in higher education, it is enough to make mention of the fact that Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman al Zawahiri, is a qualified surgeon. However, it is odd when states and politicians defend and propagate terrorism and even justify it. When the 44-member terrorist cell was discovered in Riyadh – most of whom have degrees in higher education and exploited their professional characters and charity work to fund terrorist operations – some people attacked Saudi Arabia for the sake of justifying their own failures and the shortcomings in their own country.

After the recent bombings in Iraq that targeted government buildings and claimed the lives of a large number of innocents, some people affiliated to Iran in Baghdad came out and attacked Saudi Arabia, falsely accusing it of standing in the way of stability in Iraq. And this was all with the help of Iranian media.

If we are to highlight anything, it should be that Saudi Arabia revealed [the presence] of a terrorist cell on its land with photos and facts and Saudi public opinion, or rather international public opinion, was made aware of as much detail as possible (for security reasons) about the investigation and placed the facts in front of everybody, even if they were shocking. This is the most effective way to beat terrorism, as Riyadh is not embarrassed to say that there are academics who support terrorism, or professionals who exploit charity for the sake of evil. Do other people, in Iraq in particular, have the same courage to call things by their names?

This is the best and most beneficial way for Iraq and the Iraqis to solve the country’s problems, especially the faults in the political process, and to work towards reforming the country instead of justifying their failures and making comments about others.

The best thing that Saudi Arabia did, or rather is still doing is that it is facing up to its problems, one of which is terrorism, with complete transparency and confidence. Therefore, revealing the testimonies of the accused members of the cell and that they took advantage of charity work is an important reminder to Saudis to pay close attention to anybody who claims to fear God and preaches, and to pay attention to anybody who claims to be doing charity work, especially as we are in the blessed month of Ramadan.

It would have been more appropriate for those certain people in Iraq to embark on doing the same thing [as Saudi Arabia] in Baghdad in order to fight the facts and to say that the internal political failure, and acting based on the approach of sectarian quotas, and showing off for the sake of elections, will not benefit Iraq and the Iraqis.

Who is violating Iraqi security in sensitive areas supposedly under the control of Nouri al Maliki’s forces, and who are the ones who exploit their statuses as security figures to rob banks and what is it they want to fund? This is very important, especially as tracking money is considered one of the quickest ways to track down terrorist activity and destruction.

It’s best to face facts rather than use the issue of terrorism to settle political accounts. Therefore, don’t be surprised at the emergence of terrorists with degrees in higher education as long as there are countries and politicians who are benefiting from terrorism to achieve their own limited goals.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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