[Marxism] Daesh versus the Saudi state
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 1 07:33:10 MDT 2016
For all of the thousands of articles written about how Saudi Arabia
created al-Qaeda and Daesh, there has never been the slightest
acknowledgement of Osama bin-Laden’s fatwa against the Saudi monarchs
for allowing Marines to be stationed there. Nor is there any
understanding that bin-Laden as well as the September 11, 2001 hijackers
identified as Saudi were actually Yemenites, a nationality that had huge
grievances against the Saudis as explained in Akbar Ahmed’s “The Thistle
and the Drone”. Despite the fact that they all are Wahhabis, it does not
follow that they are part of a global conspiracy orchestrated out of the
royal palace in Riyaddh in consultation with Langley. The only reason
that there are so few jihadist attacks in Saudi Arabia is the country’s
vice-like control of society through a vast security apparatus as well
as the ability of oil revenues to placate the average Saudi. The article
below illustrates that no matter the surface appearance, the jihadis
would love nothing better than to destroy the monarchy.
NY Times, Apr. 1 2016
ISIS Turns Saudis Against the Kingdom, and Families Against Their Own
By BEN HUBBARD
BURAIDA, Saudi Arabia — The men were not hardened militants. One was a
pharmacist, another a heating and cooling technician. One was a high
They were six cousins, all living in Saudi Arabia, all with the same
secret. They had vowed allegiance to the Islamic State — and they
planned to kill another cousin, a sergeant in the kingdom’s
And that is what they did. In February, the group abducted Sgt. Bader
al-Rashidi, dragged him to the side of a road south of this central
Saudi city, and shot and killed him. With video rolling, they condemned
the royal family, saying it had forsaken Islam.
Then they fled into the desert. The video spread rapidly across the
kingdom, shocking a nation struggling to contain a terrorist movement
seen as especially dangerous not just because it promotes violence, but
also because it has adopted elements of Saudi Arabia’s conservative
version of Islam — a Sunni creed known as Wahhabism — and used them to
delegitimize the monarchy.
“Wahhabism is fundamental to the Islamic State’s ideology,” said Cole
Bunzel, a scholar of Wahhabi history at Princeton University and the
author of a recent paper on Saudi Arabia and the Islamic State. “It
informs the character of their religion and is the most on-display
feature, in my opinion, of their entire ideology.”
Among 20 terrorist episodes in Saudi Arabia since late 2014, the killing
of Sergeant Rashidi was the third in which citizens had secretly joined
the Islamic State and killed relatives in the security services. In each
case, they justified their acts by saying Saudi Arabia practiced a
corrupted version of the faith, a charge aimed at a kingdom that holds
itself up as the only true Islamic state.
The Islamic State, like Al Qaeda before it, accuses the Saudi monarchy
of corrupting the faith in order to preserve its power. But Qaeda
networks in the kingdom were dismantled years ago, and the group’s
leadership abroad has discouraged killing Muslim civilians.
The Islamic State, however, has been able to infiltrate the kingdom
through digital recruiting, and it has found devotees willing to kill
fellow Sunnis, as well as Shiites, to destabilize the monarchy.
In July, a 19-year-old man murdered his uncle, a police colonel, before
carrying out a suicide attack near a prison, wounding two guards.
In an audio message released by the Islamic State after his death, he
addressed his own mother.
“Your apostate brother was a loyalist to the tyrants,” he said. “Were it
not for him, the tyrants would not exist.”
Maj. Gen. Mansour Turki, a spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry,
said that terrorist attacks over the past two years had killed scores of
people, along with about two dozen militants.
In addition, about 3,000 Saudis have joined militant groups abroad, and
more than 5,000 have been incarcerated at home on terrorism charges, a
large increase in recent years.
Saudi Arabia has a tangled history with Islamic militant groups. For a
long time, it backed them as proxy forces to push its agenda in places
like Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan (where it worked with the United
States). But that largely ended in 2003, when Al Qaeda turned its focus
on the kingdom and staged a series of deadly attacks.
Now the Islamic State poses a new challenge, by turning aspects of Saudi
Arabia’s conservative creed against it. Wahhabism has been molded over
the years to serve the interests of the monarchy, emphasizing obedience
to the rulers and condemning terrorist attacks, even against those seen
Still, among the Islamic State’s many enemies, Saudi Arabia is the only
one that considers the Quran and other religious texts its constitution,
criminalizes apostasy and bans all forms of unsanctioned public religion.
The country was founded on an alliance between the Saud family, whose
members became the monarchs, and a cleric named Sheikh Muhammad ibn
Abdul-Wahhab, whose teachings were used to justify military conquest by
labeling it jihad against those deemed to be infidels, most of whom were
Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab’s descendants still dominate the religious
institutions of the Saudi state, which now play down the violence in the
country’s history and emphasize aspects convenient to an all-powerful
royal family, like the importance of obeying the leadership.
Saudi officials reject comparisons between their ideology and that of
the Islamic State, noting that millions of non-Muslims live in the
kingdom and that the government is closely allied with the United States
and participates in the American campaign against the militant group.
They also say that Saudi Islam does not promote the caliphate, as does
the Islamic State, and that senior clerics condemn the terrorist attacks
and have branded the group “deviant.”
But critics argue that many Saudi clerics have never renounced the
aspects of the Wahhabi tradition that the Islamic State has adopted,
especially with regard to Shiites, who make up an estimated 10 percent
of the kingdom’s 20 million citizens. Many Saudi clerics consider
Shiites heretics and accuse them of loyalty to Saudi Arabia’s regional
The jihadists have exploited this by repeatedly launching suicide
attacks on Shiite mosques and then accusing Saudi clerics of hypocrisy
for condemning the violence.
“It is clearly hard for Saudi clerics to condemn outright attacks on
Shiites,” said Mr. Bunzel, the Princeton scholar. “And you get the
feeling that they don’t care as much if the Shiites get attacked, since
they’re not really Muslims in their view.”
As elsewhere in the world, the Islamic State has relied on social media
to reach inside the kingdom, find recruits and dispatch them to attack,
often under the noses of their closest relatives.
This has made plots hard to prevent, General Turki said, citing the
example of a man arrested last year after killing two police officers in
a drive-by shooting near Riyadh. One Islamic State supporter had given
him the car, and another had provided the gun, but the attacker never
learned their names.
Still, the group had struggled to target the security forces, so it told
recruits to kill officers from their own families. General Turki
summarized their message as, “You are closer, so no one will know you.”
In September, two men abducted their cousin, a soldier in the Saudi
Army, and filmed a video of him bound and begging for mercy in the sand
as they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and shot him dead. The
security forces killed one of them and arrested the other.
Soon after came the abduction and murder of Sergeant Rashidi by the six
cousins, following a process of radicalization that no one in their
The ringleader, Wael al-Rashidi, who addressed the camera in the video,
had a pharmacy degree and worked in a Riyadh hospital, two of Sergeant
Rashidi’s brothers said in an interview. He had smoked cigarettes, a
practice shunned by most devout Muslims, and spent hours “hacking” on
his computer or playing war games on his Xbox.
One of his two brothers who joined the plot played the oud, also an act
religious conservatives frown on.
Three other attackers were university students; two were brothers, and
two were roommates, both studying Shariah at a state university in Riyadh.
About two years ago, Wael al-Rashidi became more religious and withdrew
from family functions, but that did not raise alarms in a society where
religious conservatism is common.
“We all saw that he was growing a beard and going to the mosque, but
there are lots of people like that here, so we had no idea he was
planning something else,” said Sergeant Rashidi’s foster brother, Mishari.
Even more puzzling was that Wael’s father was a retired officer in the
domestic intelligence service, an agency charged with detecting jihadist
threats, Sergeant Rashidi’s brothers said. The father of another of the
attackers still works for the force.
“Maybe he didn’t know, or he was scared to report him or thought he
would straighten out,” said one of Sergeant Rashidi’s brothers, Bandar.
“Only he knows.”
While the attackers were not personally close to Sergeant Rashidi, they
told him they had a gift from their mother for him to deliver. He met
them, and they abducted and killed him a few hours later.
The family’s dread grew in the following days as relatives noticed that
their sons were missing and had turned off their phones. Then the
Islamic State released the video, confirming the family’s suspicions.
On March 11, Saudi security forces tracked the six men to a remote
location and killed them all in a shootout, local news outlets reported.
Sergeant Rashidi’s brothers are glad the six are dead, but the episode
has left them deeply suspicious.
“If anyone calls and says, ‘Where are you? I want to see you,’ you don’t
trust him anymore,” Bandar said.
More information about the Marxism