Which of Saudi’s enemies orchestrated the triple bombing?

The enemy is not at our door; it is inside our homelands, plotting to spill our blood and pit Muslim against Muslim with the aim of occupying our cities. There is nowhere 100 percent safe, because this will to kill is more infectious than Ebola and much harder to detect. There is no brain scan, blood work or DNA test able to predict evil intent.

In recent weeks, Istanbul, Baghdad and Dhaka have been victims of this virulent, hate-laced pandemic that has so cruelly ripped the life out of hundreds of innocent travellers, diners and shoppers. These were all politically motivated terrorist acts carried out under the false banner of religion, designed to strike fear in the hearts of populations in the hope they will turn against their governments.

I am always deeply saddened by such incidents, but never more when hearing the terrible news on Monday that our Islamic holy sites have now become targets. Words cannot express my horror and outrage that Muslims (if that is what they deserve to be called) would attempt to eviscerate mosques, especially Islam’s second-holiest site in Madinah, the resting place of the Prophet Mohammad.

This single act - which, if it had succeeded, would have sent the entire Muslim world into inconsolable mourning and fury - raises questions when no terrorist group has so far claimed responsibility.

I doubt that any will, since attacks on Islam will hardly assist terrorist recruiting drives. How many impressionable young Muslim men would be open to being groomed on the internet, or likely to be radicalized if they were contacted by a member of an organization out to destroy the prophet’s burial place?

We do know that Abdullah Khan, a 34-year-old Pakistani driver, blew himself up close to the U.S. consulate in the port city of Jeddah. The identities of the other two are as yet unknown, but I suspect these murderers were mere idiot foot soldiers, and it may be they permitted their strings to be pulled in return for cash payments to their families.

ISIS

All three attacks were coordinated in the style of Al-Qaeda and its offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but unlike their usual operations, these would be viewed as failures from their perspectives. In all instances, the suicide belts were exploded outside the apparently targeted buildings, and the death count from all three is lower than we have witnessed in the past.

I smell a false-flag operation here. There is another foe of Saudi Arabia, and like ISIS, it has ambitions to dominate the region and become the guardian of the holy sites in Makkah and Madinah

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor

No one died in Jeddah apart from Khan. Two were killed by the explosion outside a mosque in Qatif, and four security guards died in the parking lot close to the Prophet’s Mosque. Are we therefore to believe that the merchants of terror who have killed tens of thousands in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Paris and Belgium have lost the plot? I do not think so.

Media fingers may be pointing towards ISIS as the likely perpetrator of these heinous crimes, and indeed it considers the kingdom an enemy. However, for the group to explode the Prophet’s Mosque would be a contradiction in terms. It would be obliged to consider a name change.

Another culprit?

I smell a false-flag operation here. There is another foe of Saudi Arabia, and like ISIS, it has ambitions to dominate the region and become the guardian of the holy sites in Makkah and Madinah. This is a wealthy rogue state whose leadership is working to advance the Day of Judgment, as evidenced by videos it disseminates to that effect.

Its relationship with Saudi Arabia has been seriously strained recently, and it has made no secret of its wish to see the ruling family overthrown. Neither it nor its armed emissaries can take responsibility, however, because doing so would incur repercussions from its Western allies and risk all-out war with neighboring states.

Khan’s associates and family will be interrogated, as will those of the other two suicide bombers once their identities have been established. However, I am betting since the three were considered expendables by their masters, the investigations will not bear fruit. If a state is behind this, it would have put its plan into effect using a complex chain of intermediaries acting from within isolated cells.

CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen says the attack on the mosque in Madinah was meant to be an embarrassment for the “protectors of the two holy places [Makkah and Madinah].”

He is also veering toward ISIS as being culpable, but I found it interesting that he characterized the suicide attack at a revered Muslim location in Madinah during Ramadan as “counterproductive” and “senseless,” and which would be met with “strong condemnation and puzzlement” by Muslims. “Puzzlement” is the operative word here.

The experts can ponder on ISIS as much as they like, but unless the group begins boasting about it, as it usually does on social media or in its magazine, I am not buying it. I do not have the answers, but I would urge investigating authorities to look closely at all options rather than jump to conclusions. Consider who stands to benefit from destabilizing Saudi Arabia.

Evaluate the motives and capabilities of all the groups and states out to harm the kingdom, and follow the money. No devout Muslim would have consented to bomb Islam’s second-holiest site, so there is likely to be a paperless hawala cash trail.

This aggression on Madinah should be seen as loud wake-up call for all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states. An attack on Saudi is an attack on us all. We must untie our hands to fight fire with fire. We must move from defense into attack mode, and acknowledge that we are not only facing a threat to our very existence, but must be prepared to defend our faith from the heartless and soulless.

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Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor is a prominent UAE businessman and public figure. He is Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group - one of the most successful conglomerates in the Gulf. Al Habtoor is renowned for his knowledge and views on international political affairs; his philanthropic activity; his efforts to promote peace; and he has long acted as an unofficial ambassador for his country abroad. Writing extensively on both local and international politics, he publishes regular articles in the media and has released a number of books. Al-Habtoor began his career as an employee of a local UAE construction firm and in 1970 established his own company, Al Habtoor Engineering. The UAE Federation, which united the seven emirates under the one flag for the first time, was founded in 1971 and this inspired him to undertake a series of innovative construction projects – all of which proved highly successful.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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