Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- “Caution begins in one’s own sanctuary” is a popular Arab saying that the targeting of Prince Mohammed Bin-Naif, the deputy interior minister for security affairs, has shown to be true.
He is the man that has been called “the friend of the penitents that are wanted by the security authorities” in view of the services he renders them to facilitate their return to their homes and their senses. His magnanimity went so far as to welcome them in his own home. The security incidents in Saudi Arabia – since the series of successful and painful blows that began in 2003 and that were dealt to the depth of the radical groups – should have made Prince Mohammed Bin-Naif the powerful and primary enemy of the terrorist groups in the country. Instead, he became “the close and helpful friend” of all the groups that renounced their aggressive and deviant ideologies and that withdrew from the networks whose members became systematically involved in targeting Saudi Arabia and its military and civilian installations.
The deputy interior minister is known to be a man that follows up on all the social and humanitarian issues to protect the families of the detainees from homelessness and despair. His adoption of the two children of the wanted Abdul-Rahman al-Mutib – despite the fact that the father is still in hiding – is another good example of “pardon when you can”. Before that, Prince Mohammed Bin-Naif welcomed the wanted Ali al-Faqasi al-Ghamidi, named on the first list of 19 wanted men known as the “The Seville Cell”, and the wanted Abdallah Bin-Atiyah Bin-Hudayd al-Salmi and helped in facilitating their surrender to the security organs. The man who expertly clipped the wings of terrorism did his best to strengthen the social ties of the wanted individuals that surrendered. He devoted his time to attend their happy social occasions and also remained in touch with them. In fact, he was so concerned for them that he allocated monthly stipends for them and for their family members so they could rejoin the social fabric of Saudi society.
Dr Ali al-Nafisah, the director general of guidance and awareness in the Saudi interior ministry, told Asharq al-Awsat that the targeting of the deputy interior minister for security affairs in the blessed month [of Ramadan] reflects several aspects. First of all, it reflects acceptance of the fatwas [Muslim religious rulings] for incitement from which these terrorists proceeded. These were takfiri fatwas and reflect a philosophy to proclaim the state and its leaders as infidels. This was done in a systematic takfiri manner that they began by legitimizing suicide operations and arguing that they are martyrdom-seeking operations. They also targeted the security men basing themselves on their publications “Inspiring Night Travelers With the Permissibility of Targeting Emergency Services Personnel” and “The Permissibility of Targeting Intelligence Services Men” as well as other books that are written for this purpose and that aggressively target the leaders of the state in particular and the security of the homeland in general. The director general of the guidance and awareness department of the Saudi interior ministry pointed out that Prince Mohammed’s success in his war against the deviant group “made him the target of intelligence gathering and planning. The prince was targeted by abusing his humaneness. This is attested in the fact that when the deputy interior minister for security affairs was talking to King Abdullah Bin-Abdulaziz he said that he did not permit his guards and the intelligence men from searching the terrorist. He believed that such magnanimity and humaneness are very effective for a Muslim. However, the fatwas that had warped the mind of that youth blinded him and led him away from the path of justice and security. Prince Mohammed Bin-Naif’s noble and civilized treatment did not affect him”.
In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, political writer and analyst Yahya al-Amir said: “They have lost the kindest person dealing with them”, adding that these extremist groups “buried alive the dreams of alleged repentance and proved to everyone that all they are saying about renouncing their ideas and extremism is mere propaganda and untrue”. He went on to say: “Prince Mohammed Bin-Naif is a man that understands all the factors that affect the Saudi character. He accepted the penitents and helped all the members of their families to rejoin the Saudi social structure and he was able to contain them”. Al-Amir went on to say that despite all the marathon sessions to persuade the terrorists to surrender and renounce their sinister ideas; despite all the arduous efforts that the deputy interior minister for security affairs exerted in dealing with the wanted terrorists humanely and kindly; and despite re-admitting several others that were detained abroad, some members of Al-Qaeda were indifferent and responded to fraternity and chivalry with treachery and betrayal. He said that no one expected the treachery of this organization to reach such levels: “The terrorists took us by surprise several times within the homeland. They started by targeting the foreign forces and claimed that they should leave the Arabian Peninsula. They justified that by citing one of the prophet’s noble traditions “Evict the mushrikin [polytheist Christians] from the peninsula of the Arabs” although they do not believe init. They also targeted security stations and residential compounds. It is an organization that does not care about social cohesiveness or values and lacks patriotic sentiments and sensitivity”.
Al-Amir added: “No one in the whole world that deals with the issue of terrorism has accomplished what Prince Mohammed Bin-Naif has accomplished. No one has dismantled radical groups as he has in his fight against terrorism. He is the man of pre-emptive blows that struck Al-Qaeda in the heart. He broke the infrastructure of the organization from within and exhausted terrorism in its fiercest locations. He worked against all its fronts from financing to leadership to media outlets. They know – especially Al-Qaeda- that he is the man that has been cutting their nails one by one firmly and calmly since 2003”. Al-Amir pointed out that those following Prince Mohammed Bin-Naif’s statements do not find a single harsh statement against “the deviant group”. The media outlets are not known to have attributed to him exhibitionist statements despite the great feat he has accomplished. Instead, the prince extended magnanimity, assistance, and cooperation to anyone that showed signs of repentance or renunciation of violence. The writer and political analyst enumerated the losses of extremists and members of the terrorist organizations that wish “to repent” their past. He said: “They lost the official that cooperated with them. He did not treat them as social outcasts or misfits. He helped them and attended their happy occasions and he was generous with them. However, all the values of tolerance, forgiveness, generosity, and appreciation are ineffective with the dogma of deceitful radicalism and ideological insanity”. Al-Amir pointed out that generosity, honesty, and brotherliness can be effective only with those that have well-balanced standards in life that view Muslim celebrations as positive occasions to interact in life. However, criminals view such occasions as opportunities to attack and occasions to betray. The writer cited as an example” the notorious Al-Muhayya incident to which they referred as the ‘Conquest of Badr of Riyadh’ in their warped literature that took place during the blessed month, the month of love, brotherliness, and tolerance”.
Saudi media figure Hammad al-Salimi said that the terrorist act that took place in Prince Mohammed Bin-Naif’s assembly hall and targeted the prince himself “is a cowardly and despicable act in the full sense of the word. The person who perpetrated the terrorist operation and is wanted by the security authorities had asked to see the prince in order to give himself up, as the official statement said. Therefore, he is a member of the terrorist cells and cliques that find safety in the country and that feed on its bounty while devouring it day and night. These cells demonstrate false allegiance and loyalty while concealing hatred and animosity to religion, the state, and the homeland”. Al-Salimi added: “These remnants that find protection behind the sheikhs of discord, will remain a thorn in the side of our homeland and people until we eradicate them. They will not be eradicated until those that protect them, finance them, and instigate them with fatwas are exterminated. This is the duty of all of us in the future”. Al-Salimi said he was stunned by the incident: “I am indeed stunned that the target was the young prince. Over the past few years, he has been meeting the evil deeds of the sinister terrorists with good deeds whenever they demonstrated repentance and good intentions. The prince opened his home and his heart to anyone that wanted to surrender of those terrorists that butchered, terrorized, bombed, and proclaimed others as unbelievers. Some had returned from Iraq or Guantanamo. They were all received with welcome and generosity in order to save face. The prince gave them and others like them gifts and presents after forgiving them. Many of them were given a house, a car, and even a spouse. Perhaps, however, these sick-minded terrorists thought that this to be weakness by the state or because it is afraid of them or as a reward to them for their despicable and hideous deeds within the homeland and abroad. These sick-minded people never thought that forgiveness is a trait of the generous and noble and a sign of strength rather than weakness. They never thought that this generosity was to preserve the dignity and self-respect of their fathers or mothers or wives or children or tribe”. Writer Al-Salimi concluded: “It is indeed painful for such nobility, tolerance, and forgiveness shown by the state to its aberrant sons to be met with such treachery and betrayal. The targeting of Prince Mohammed Bin-Naif, who is in charge of the file of the war on terrorism, is indeed a cowardly act. However, it conveys the message that the fall and capture of the cell of 44 terrorists is not the end and that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are producing terrorist time-bombs every day. In order to stop this odious production, we should begin in the mosque and the school”.
Security expert Yahya al-Zayidi said that this criminal deed is the result of many big accumulations and have a long history in organized criminal acts. Saudi Arabia was the first to confront such sinister groups. Some groups have devoted all their time and efforts to brainwash the young and use them as explosive charges everywhere. He added that the security organs demonstrated their efficiency in repulsing the deviant ideology and that this confrontation has been based on Saudi security plans and maps throughout the country. Al-Zayidi pointed out: “Under the leadership of its monarch and security officials, the kingdom has foiled all the failed criminal attempts. The recent incident against Prince Mohammed Bin-Naif has shown the impotence of the organization that continues to meet security with betrayal, generosity with treachery, and honesty with falsehoods and lies. They wanted to assassinate the security man in the country but God defeated them. They wanted to assassinate the man of hard and successful tasks, the man with brilliant plans, and the man that upgraded security with professionalism and skills as he devoted all his time fighting against black and sinister ideologies”.