Saudi Arabia has been suffering from al-Qaeda since 2003. So, what’s new and important about the information ministry’s statement on dismantling a terror group last Tuesday? First of all, it’s an “organization” and not just a sleeper cell. Al-Qaeda first struck Riyadh 11 years ago, it then resumed its activity of murder and violence few years later and went on until 2006 until its activity in the kingdom regressed. It then attempted to prove its existence by planning assassinations and explosions. Most of these plans failed and its cells were dismantled to the extent that some supporters had to flee the kingdom, mostly to Yemen.
Second of all, the dismantled organization has an emir who has received his supporters’ oath of allegiance. The interior ministry however did not reveal the identity of the emir who did not fight back as he was being arrested. But, is he a “cleric” who enjoys a legitimate background or just an anonymous young fighter? What we know about this organization is that it is linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Therefore, it’s a takfiri extremist organization. It’s a form of al-Qaeda that has transformed for the worst, and it’s different from the original al-Qaeda as the latter is less extremist. This is not a compliment and it doesn’t aim to underestimate its evil nature but it is a necessary explanation to distinguish between them so one day, we can eliminate them - as groups and ideologies - from the Arab and Muslim world.
The logical question
Why did this rising organization choose to be linked to the ISIS considering the existence of the al-Nusra Front which is also affiliated with al-Qaeda and which is also an extremist organization?Jamal Kashoggi