Categorized | Saudi Arabia

Al-Qaida Leader Calls for Attacks on Saudi Arabia


Al-Qaida's leader in an audio recording on Tuesday called for attacks against Saudi Arabia and its Western allies.

Ayman al-Zawahiri
In a video message, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on his followers to retaliate for Saudi Arabia’s mass execution of dozens of alleged extremists. Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has threatened attacks on Saudi Arabia in a new video calling  for revenge over the country’s Jan. 2 mass execution of dozens of alleged extremists.In the video, recorded Tuesday and released by the SITE Intelligence Group Thursday, al-Zawahiri encouraged Saudis to rise up against their “rotten regime that corrupted your religion,” saying it “will never defend you.” 

The gulf nation received a similar message from the Islamic State group shortly after it executed 47 alleged militants on Jan. 2. The mass execution was the largest in 35 years, with those killed—including Shia cleric and opposition leader Nimr al-Nimr—convicted of terrorism. The Islamic State group also threatened attacks after the Saudi defense minister proclaimed Dec. 15 the formation of a coalition of 34 mostly Sunni Muslim countries to fight terror-ism. 

Despite the announcement, that coalition has yet engaged in any joint military actionOPINION: Saudi Arabia's Murder of Nimr al-Nimr Was for Domestic Control The  “Zionist-Crusader alliance,” another target that al-Zawahiri mentioned in the video, is “whathurts Al Saud so much.”Though Saudi Arabia receives significant military andfinancialsupport from the United States, it has mostly been funneling its resources in what some consider a proxy war against Iran in Yemen. Besides allegedly committingwar crime in Yemen itself, from bombing weddings to hospitals,the kingdom has also cracked downon Shiite protesters on its eastern border with Yemen. 

OPINION: The Crisis in Yemen Demands Humanitarian Non-Intervention One of the leadersof Saudi Arabia’Shiite minority was al-Nimr, a cleric who was executed alongside the alleged Sunni   militants shortly before the Arab Spring’s five-year anniversary.The execution of al-Nimr was condemned by Iran, the region’s major Shiite power, and led to a series of retaliations—including the  burning of the  Saudi Embassy  in Tehran  that ended with Saudi Arabia cutting diplomatic ties with its rival. In his video,al-Zawahiri said the moves were indicative of a “competition for power in the region,”  but one under the umbrella of protecting and complying with the interests of America.

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