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Saudi Arabia: Government Warns of Al Qaeda Elements Disguising Themselves as Journalists | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Governmental warnings issued yesterday in Saudi Arabia opened the door to the possibility of Al Qaeda elements disguising themselves as journalists and disguising explosive devices as camera equipment in order to target government dignitaries and state guests. Such warnings are expected to lead to increased security procedures and rigorous inspection of journalists covering press events attended by senior state officials or official state visits undertaken by foreign delegations.

Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour al-Turki confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat the need for media figures to carry credentials identifying them as journalists whilst on duty, stressing the importance that all precautionary measures are taken in order to plug any holes that Al Qaeda could in order to achieve its objectives. In addition to this, media sources monitoring Al Qaeda activity have not ruled out the possibility of Al Qaeda utilizing the media in order to achieve its objectives under the Machiavellian precept of “the end justifies the means.” There have also been previous examples of such criminal acts, for example Afghan commander Ahmed Shah Massoud was killed by elements who posed as journalists claiming to want to interview him.