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6/22/2004


Saudi Indecision

A recent Newsweek article demonstrates just how badly Suadi Arabia is doing. In it a Saud official mentions to the reporter that killing the leader of the Al Qaeda cell (who murder Paul Johnson) should stop the violence.

    "Saudi officials believe that the killing of Abdelaziz al-Muqrin, the leader of the group that murdered Johnson, will stop much of the domestic terror. "His group, with 50 to 60 members, was the one that planned almost all recent attacks," said one official. "It's now leaderless."
Unfortunately while the Saudi official was speaking on the record (didn't see that comming) a new Al-Qaeda leader was named: Saleh Mohammad al-Oufi.

    "A former Saudi police officer has taken over as leader of Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia after the former chief was shot dead on Friday by Saudi securty forces.

    Saleh Mohammad al-Oufi, 38, who is number four on the kingdom's list of most wanted men, "has been named Al-Qaeda chieftain in Saudi Arabia, succeeding Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin," the Londaon-based Asharq al-Awsat reported Monday."
Did you catch that first line? "former Suadi police officer". I wonder if he still has friends on the force?

Not sounding bad enough for the Sauds? Check out this little blurb on Saleh Mohammad al-Oufi's character.

    "Al-Oufi might be more dangerous than Al-Muqrin because he comes from the security ranks and the fact he is a Hijazi from the holy city of Medina where he can recruit from the most economically depressed areas of Saudi Arabia.

    "Al-Oufi might also be a more effective Al-Qaeda leader because he is older, spent more time in the country than Muqrin, and is more familiar with Al-Qaeda network in Saudi Arabia as he was one of those who built it."
Maybe the house of Saud should take a harder line when fighting terrorism in their own country. They should understand that they are at war as well. It’s almost mind numbing how slow and inneffective the Sauds are against the radical jihadists. They should listen to their own Prince Bandar, who recently chided his government in an article (written in a reformist newspaper, Al-Watan) for being indecisive and weak.

    ”But there are many who believe that the regime is not acting decisively enough. One of them is Saudi Arabia's own ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. In a surprisingly forceful article in the reformist Saudi newspaper Al-Watan, Bandar argued that neither Saudi society nor the state had fully mobilized itself for this struggle. "War means war," he wrote. "It does not mean Boy Scout camp." He urged that people stop calling the militants "good people who were careless" and call them instead "terrorists and aggressors with whom there can be no compromise."
It’s amazing to me that Prince Bandar has to urge the people of Saudi Arabia to stop calling the terrorists “good people who were careless”. I can’t even wrap my mind around the vast amounts of cognitive dissonance going on in that country. How, by writing an article are you going to move people from calling terrorists “good people” to “Terrorist”?

But maybe that simple request shows even more how delusional the Saudis are. The Saudi government officially condemns terrorism, and uses small scale results, like killing Paul Johnson’s killer, as proof of their commitment. However their continued refusal to address the real causes of terrorism such as their schools and mosques, which teach hate for anything outside of the Wahhabi faith, as well as its own oppressive government, proves their commitment against terrorism is anything but total.

posted by: Brian Scott


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