Saudi Arabia’s authorities must have finally realized that Islamists are not to be played with, once the militants of the Islamic State carried out a terrorist attack near a Shia mosque in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom on November 4. In the aftermath local security and intelligence agencies have launched a massive operation targeting all potentially suspicious individuals. As a result, by 6 December they have arrested a total of 140 people, including 112 Saudi citizens, 17 Syrians, while the rest were citizens of Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. The detained individuals were under suspicion for extremism, subversive and terrorist activities. Law enforcement agents managed to uncover a number of terrorist cells that were preparing new subversive activities, this was officially confirmed by the Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on December 7. The arrested were not simply accused of domestic crimes such as membership in terrorist cells, recruiting for terrorist activities, extremist propaganda, or weapons smuggling, but also for armed operations outside Saudi Arabia.
For example, in a group of 20 people arrested for organizing terrorist attacks in the Eastern Province, some were accused of having links to illegal armed groups in Iraq. It is curious that a large number of individuals was detained for activities in social networks as well, which means that they were using the same tools that Saudi Arabia has used to foment color revolutions in Egypt, Libya and Syria.
This time around law enforcement agencies were not arresting Shiites alone, but Sunni members of extremist groups as well. However, official Saudi statements are implying that the Kingdom has fallen victim to foreign interference, explicitly Iran and Iraq, along with foreign terrorist organizations (apparently ISIS), that are allegedly trying to destabilize the situation in Saudi Arabia and undermine its security.
However, the narrative about the “successes” of Saudi intelligence, that has been loudly acclaimed by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, does not coincide with the strengthening of security measures taken on the eve of the Christmas holidays, especially around the areas including foreign residential compounds and diplomatic missions that may become the target of ISIL militants that have claimed responsibility for a failed murder attempt of a Danish citizen on November 22.
Terrorism has put down roots in the rich Wahhabi soil of Saudi society which is plagued by Salafism and radicalism. In addition, more than two thousand KSA citizens are fighting in the ranks of terrorist organizations in neighboring countries. Everywhere along the Saudi border conflicts are raging, conflicts that have been started with the help of the rulers of Riyadh: in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. The Islamic State has already announced extending its area of operations in the territory of Saudi Arabia, and there’s 1,500 Saudi citizens fighting alongside them. These mercenaries and fanatics are enjoying the sympathy of the population of the Kingdom. People around here have lost the ideological orientation, confusing extremists with local authorities. And with each passing day it becomes more and more apparent that there’s no suppressing radicals with police units anymore.
In this situation, the authorities are trying to drive the radicals outside Saudi Arabia for them to be killed abroad by governments against which the KSA had launched a wave of “color” revolutions and proxy forces. Russia is not an exception, the Islamic State’s militants which have acquired combat experience in Syria and Iraq have already been deployed there. A total of 400 militants settled in Dagestan and Chechnya, and several dozen in Ingushetia. Therefore, it not surprising that after months of peace Grozny has been woken up late at night by gunfire, which took the lives of numerous local citizens, including police officers.
It is imperative to carefully examine “the Saudi trace” in this diversion. After all, this chain of events fits perfectly in a conspiracy of destabilizing the Russian Federation and undermining the foundations of the government of Vladimir Putin that was launched by the White House. And its implementation is connected to the KSA in regards to the organization of terrorist attacks in the Muslim areas of Russia that could underpin the social protests in major cities of the Russian Federation, which are to be organized by the United States and its NATO allies through their intelligence services and the Russian pro-Western opposition, that is prepared to take anti-constitutional steps to create a “Russian maidan.”
The Saudi “trace” has already been established behind terrorist attacks in Volgograd on the eve of the Sochi Winter Olympics. It seems that Riyadh is using dirty tricks yet again, no wonder that Bandar Bin Sultan the former director general of Saudi Intelligence Agency lost his position. As if it was not enough to keep oil prices at a critically low level to weaken Russia’s economy, now they have decided to sabotage Russia’s security? Then Saudi authorities shouldn’t be surprised if Russia takes a number of measures to talk some reason into them. Those authorities have lost all connections with the real world, since they’re promoting war on all fronts – against Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, etc. It’s time to bring some democracy to this rotten state that is governed according to the norms of the 17th century.
Alexander Orlov, political scientist, expert Orientalist, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.