June 29, 2015 Special Dispatch No. 6087

Former 'Al-Sharq Al-Awsat' Editor To Fellow Saudis: ' It Came As No Surprise' That The Kuwait Suicide Bomber Was A Saudi

June 29, 2015
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 6087

In a June 29, 2015 article titled "Commemorating the 15 Saudi Terrorists," published in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and on, 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, former Al-Sharq Al-Awsat editor and former Al-Arabiya director, noted that Saudis still lead global terrorism, as they did in 9/11. He wrote that a completely new generation of Saudis is now bombing Shi'ite mosques in the kingdom and in neighboring Kuwait, and that it is also well represented in the Islamic State (ISIS), Al-Qaeda, and Jabhat Al-Nusra.

The perpetrator of the June 26, 2015 suicide bombing in Kuwait, he said, was not an isolated case; there are "thousands" of such Saudi deviants, and the first step in countering the problem that has proven to be too great for the security authorities is to acknowledge its existence and eliminate its root causes. He warned that the Saudis must stop evading the problem by pointing to extremists from other countries, and said that the matter has reached crisis proportions that threaten the country's security. Much as in 2001, he said, the situation invites global criticism of Saudi Arabia, and perhaps even retribution against it.

The following is his article, in the original English.

'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed (source. 

A New Generation Of Saudi Extremists Has Arisen

"It came as no surprise that the suicide bomber of the Shi'ite mosque in Kuwait was a Saudi citizen, yet it pained everyone. In May, the suicide bombers of the two mosques in eastern Saudi Arabia were also Saudi. A video showed that a terrorist arrested in Iraq was also Saudi, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has announced that one of its Saudi fighters has been killed.

"Meanwhile, last month, Al-Nusra Front [Jabhat Al-Nusra] said that one of its field commanders, also a Saudi, was killed. In April, an American drone in Yemen killed a Saudi citizen among the Al-Qaeda leaders. The list goes on.

"The picture I just drew reveals a wave of extremists. Most of those killed or who are still fighting across the world are young, most under the age of 30. Most Saudi extremists today were children when the Sept. 11 attacks happened. Those attacks shocked Saudi society then, as 15 of those who carried out the crime were Saudi nationals, accompanied by two Emiratis, a Lebanese, and an Egyptian.

"Back then, the question was why Al-Qaeda chose such a large number [of operatives] from one nationality when it had hundreds of fighters from other nationalities. At the time, we said the organization targeted Saudi Arabia when it attacked the U.S. in order to pit the two countries against one another. There were fierce calls to punish Riyadh, as many considered the kingdom a source of evil. These calls only dissipated when then-U.S. President George W. Bush chose Iraq as a target for revenge.

"The question now is why the Saudis are not fixing their society and preventing intellectual deviance. It is clear that those deviants, who are in their thousands, are a product of extremism, otherwise that Saudi national would not have gone to Kuwait based on a mere phone call he received from ISIS. The killer carried out his attack like he was under hypnosis. He blew himself up - killing 27 and injuring 300 - just a few hours after arriving in Kuwait.

"Carrying out the attack required no more than issuing an order to head to a place he may have never visited before. The ISIS representative received him at the airport, provided him with an explosive belt, and transported him to the mosque to commit his crime. How many deviants in Saudi Arabia await such phone calls to blow themselves up without question?" 

Excuses Will Not Help

"Extremism is not just Saudi Arabia's problem, as Tunisia has a large share of fighters among extremist organizations, as do Morocco and dozens of other countries. However, the situation will not improve by evading the truth and making excuses. Extremism has been a problem since politics found its way into mosques in the 1980s, and since clerics began to issue fatwas (religious edicts) regarding political affairs.

"Without acknowledging the spread of extremist ideologies, it will not be possible to fight and eliminate terrorism, because whenever extremists are arrested, others will take their place. It is wrong to view this as just a security problem, as it is snowballing into a political crisis. Extremists are a huge threat to their countries' security as well as to the world's, and they jeopardize interests and relations.

"Some are evading responsibility under the excuse that it is a general problem, and say proof of this is that Iran has tens of thousands of extremists fighting in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The difference between us and Iran is that Saudi terrorists threaten Saudi Arabia before any other country, while Iranian terrorists are engaged in systems affiliated with their government, such as the army.

"After the September 11 attacks, Riyadh sought to repair the relations that the 15 Saudi hijackers had almost destroyed. It succeeded, but with great difficulty. However, a new round of terrorism and blame has now begun."

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