The State should use force to stop the spread of violence and protect society. The state is the only one that can define violence; it is empowered to monopolize power to control the society. This is the philosophy on which the modern state was established.
On Tuesday July 11th, Saudi Interior Ministry announced the execution of four terrorists in Qatif – Zaher Abdul Rahim al-Basri, Yousef Ali al-Mushaikhis, Mahdi Mohammed al-Sayegh and Amjad Naji Hassan al-Muaibeed. They were convicted of shooting and wounding a number of policemen, participating in riotous gatherings, obstructing security forces and providing cover to terrorists. Some of them were trained to use weapons and Molotov cocktails.
It is known that terrorism in Qatif and violence in Awamiyah were supported by Iran, as part of the wave of interventions that began since the Khomeinist revolution. Its subsidiaries, Hezbollah in the Gulf and the Lebanese Hezbollah, wanted to exploit Qatif politically to embarrass Saudi Arabia and disturb its social equilibrium.
While Saudi Arabia’s security institutions consider all terrorists as criminals, disregarding their origins, what recently emerged was that the party involved in the unrest in the eastern region was from a neighboring country. Arab news agencies revealed recordings of two Qatari Sheikhs wanting to “divide Saudi Arabia and put pressure on the Qatif people to split; they also aired the demonstrations on Al Jazeera.”
The attempts of neighboring and faraway countries to turn acts of terrorism into a tool of political pressure, have failed because each country is dealing with violence based on its own laws and regulationsFahad Suleiman Shoqiran
Qatar’s hostile policy
Al Jazeera has tried to play all kinds of destabilizing roles but its project has failed. If we go back to history, there was the famous interview with Osama bin Laden in late 1998 in which he launched an attack on Saudi Arabia, criticized the legitimacy of the Council of Senior Clerics, and encouraged young people to carry out terrorist acts. This interview was part of the hostile Qatari policy.
The same happened in 2015, when it telecast an interview with al-Nusra leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani, aiming to improve his image. When al-Qaeda carried out the bombing of the Muhaya compound in Riyadh on November 8th 2003, killing 18 people and wounding more than 120 people, Al Jazeera wrote on its screen: Al Jazeera got a video recording taken by the two bombers of the Muhaya compound in Riyadh”.
Qatar has paid huge sums of money to buy these tapes and this was revealed by the anchor of the “Top Secret” program on Al Jazeera, Yosri Fouda, in his book “On the path of Harm: From al-Qaeda strongholds to ISIS”.
He reported his discussion with the former Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa, saying: “After a warm welcome, he invited me to sit down and said that he had to interrupt his vacation to see me and we shook hands. He did not waste much time before getting into the main subject: “Where are the tapes?” he asked. I explained the circumstances of what happened and that mediators are now trying to bargain to get a donation before delivering the tapes. The Emir of Qatar then said: “How much would that be?” Fouda: “they want a million dollars”. The Emir of Qatar: “And, what do you think about it?” Fouda: “Of course not”. The Emir looked at me at that moment as if he was looking at a naïve man, and said: “isn’t it better to pay them the amount and take our tapes?”
Iran and Qatar are alternately switching roles; the first heavily sponsors Hezbollah and its branches in the Gulf and Qatar sponsors al-Qaeda. The meetings between Hezbollah and al-Qaeda are not hidden and known around the world as indicated by Lawrence Wright in his book “The Looming Tower: al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.”
This subject was also tackled by Toby Matthiesen in his book “Hizbullah al-Hijaz: the Beginning and End of a Terrorist Organization.” Both books are linked through Al Jazeera. Let us read important testimonies presented by Hamad al-Issa in his book “the End of Al Jazeera Era”, which included the translation of important articles by: Ron Suskind, Andrew Terrell, Mohammed Ohamo, Alexander Cohen, Christoph Reuter, Gregoir Shmitz, Cliff Kinkid, Ayman Sharaf, David Kirpatrick, William Assange, Abdullah Schleifer. In Issa’s book, on page 177, he entitled the chapter: “Al Jazeera and al-Qaeda”. In this chapter, he included files and dialogues with Yosry Fouda about Al Jazeera meetings with terrorist leaders.
To sum up, terrorist acts involve regional arms. The attempts of neighboring and faraway countries to turn acts of terrorism into a tool of political pressure, have failed because each country is dealing with violence based on its own laws and regulations. The recently executed cell is part of this tight security measure taken by Saudi Arabia.
The burden is now shifted to countries that failed to face terrorism. How can they escape the responsibilities of supporting terrorism, which were indicated by the international community that is headed by the United States? It is time now to hold accountable all those who were deceitfully smiling, before those who were bluntly hostile from afar.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Fahad Shoqiran is a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group. His writings have appeared in pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Alarabiya.net, among others. He also blogs on philosophies, cultures and arts. He tweets @shoqiran.