All cards have now been put on the table. According to the esteemed Saudi Presidency of the State Security, a cell that works for a foreign country has been uncovered. Citizens breathed a sigh of relief because those arrested were some of the worst enemies of our state, the state of security and stability.
The espionage cell members had infiltrated several segments of the society especially that they hid behind religion. This is how they controlled wide segments. They infiltrated state departments and controlled preaching activity and charity organizations. These fields help one mobilize people against the state and yield financial profit as well.
This explains the wealth of preachers of the so-called Sahwa. Perhaps these partisans’ strong influence and infiltration are what tempted Qatar to support them. Hamad bin Jassim and Hamad bin Khalifa’s regime has always dreamed of destabilizing Saudi Arabia and shaking its security.
Our national media, represented in patriotic authors and intellectuals, have for years written about the threats of partisans and followed up on their suspicious activity and their sharp criticism of any developmental decision the state made. We also followed up on their frequent visits to Qatar and how they praised it and its leaders while they criticized their own country and slandered its rulers and intellectuals.
We were almost certain that they were recruited by this Qatari regime to carry out suspicious activities in exchange of huge sums of money. They were foolish enough to forget that the Saudi kingdom has one of the strongest security apparatuses that monitor and document everything.
Therefore, it was no surprise that these cells were uncovered. It has been one of the most scandalous downfalls ever since boycotting Qatar and especially that these infiltrators kept silent, or even worse, stood by Qatar’s regime!
There’s nothing worse than using religion to achieve cheap worldly purposes. This is what distinguishes political Islam groups. Perhaps the exposure of this cell will be a lesson that awakens kind Saudis and exposes those deceiving them using religion. Partisans exploit these humble people and use them as fuel to execute their plans, either by recruiting them and sending them to conflict zones or by taking their money under the excuse of charity work.
I am aware that it’s difficult to convince simple people that outer appearances are not enough proof of piety; however, the exposure of this cell makes me optimistic that these simple men, whom partisans deceived for a very long time, will begin to see clearly. There will still be a problem related to people with unclear stances and who hide behind patriotism. These people are actually as dangerous as partisans, and an entire article must be dedicated to discuss them and their threats.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Dr Ahmad al-Farraj is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah daily. He holds a Masters degree in literature from the University of Indiana and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Michigan. He was the Dean of the Arabic Language Institute in King Saud University and a member of the university’s council. He tweets under @amhfarraj.