How terrorism threatens the state

States are continuously tested by challenges and incidents, and if they do not strictly and determinedly confront them, they will weaken and fade away

Turki Aldakhil

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There has been much analysis on the roots and repercussions of terrorism, and the means to tackle it. Terrorism poses the biggest threat to civil values and state entities. When the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) began its strategy of assassinating security officials, following in Al-Qaeda’s footsteps, its goal was to bleed out state institutions.

Targeting them, as well as mosques, congregation halls during Shiite ceremonies, and certain figures is aimed at embarrassing and targeting the state, exhausting its resources, and sowing confusion and chaos.

This represents the implementation of a strategy outlined in the book “Management of Savagery” by Abu Bakr Naji, a pen name of Mohammad Khalil al-Hakaymah, who wrote it in the Tora Bora mountains under the direct supervision of late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his successor Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Saudi Interior Ministry says the book is one of ISIS’s references, and American military colleges have translated it to study terrorism.

Following the Sept. 11 attacks, Olivier Mongin wrote in Le Monde newspaper: “The clear question now is ‘do the September terror attacks represent an opportunity to achieve some sort of awareness?’ Terrorists refuse confrontations. They escape when it comes to that. All they aim to do is sow instability. Their rhetoric is a mere lie. Their hostile calls aim to serve the purpose of making victims also act like terrorists.”


Terrorism aims to undermine civil values, spread sectarianism and revive tribalism. It despises social values, patriotic concepts and humane connections. Violent organizations seek division in order to dominate where the state is absent. Fear rises as a result, and the criminal and catastrophic “management of savagery” thus begins.

States are continuously tested by challenges and incidents, and if they do not strictly and determinedly confront them, they will weaken and fade away

Turki Al-Dakhil

If we take a thorough look at the testimonies of residents in ISIS strongholds in Syria and Iraq, we clearly see the extent of fear due to the terror of militias called the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

Fear is why these residents keep silent and adapt to living under ISIS rule. It is fear that is managed through fear. The terrorism of one party justifies that of another, so life becomes hell, society becomes a jungle, and the state gets weaker by the day.


The Gulf stance toward terrorism has become clear. An ISIS supporter in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been sentenced to death, the Al-Abdali terror cell in Kuwait has been tried, and 47 terror convicts have been executed in Saudi Arabia. The social mandate is a major part of the state’s work in order to use what German sociologist Max Weber described as a monopoly on the legitimate use of force to protect society and the state.

States are continuously tested by challenges and incidents, and if they do not strictly and determinedly confront them, they will weaken and fade away. Gulf countries, which aspire to curb and eliminate terrorism, are aware of this.

Encouraging the state’s work, and solidifying its concepts and institutions, falls within the context of the war on terror. Those who incite against their states in the name of revolution, rights and humanitarian appeals are only providing legal cover to terrorists.

Perhaps Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi's recent speech a few days ago following Tunisia's protests indicated that ISIS had a presence in these protests and some slogans raised were done so by traitors of the country

State strength is a guarantee of society’s future. Society should never be provoked by those who come with their irrational might. The most dangerous diseases that control revolutionary speeches are naivety and loss of wisdom.

This article was first published by Al-Bayan newspaper on Jan. 27, 2016.

Turki Al-Dakhil, is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns of Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

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