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March 8, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 3649

As Unrest Sweeps across the Middle East, Al-Qaeda Steps Up Incitement against Saudi Regime

March 8, 2011
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 3649

Following the recent wave of unrest in the Middle East, Al-Qaeda's various branches, especially Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), have stepped up their incitement against the Saudi regime. This trend can be seen as the result of several factors. The ouster of two Arab leaders has struck a blow to Al-Qaeda's doctrine regarding the need for violent jihad against the Arab rulers, a point which has been widely discussed in the Western and Arab media. This blow has forced proponents of violent jihad to justify their stance, which they have done by pointing out that the "father of all tyrants", King' Abdallah of Saudi Arabia, yet remains to be toppled. Two additional factors have enabled jihadists to bring their old grievances against the Saudi regime to the forefront. First, the jihadists have taken advantage of the rapid spread of popular uprisings and protests throughout the Arab world as a chance to reiterate their traditional criticisms of the Saudi royal family. Second, the fact that Saudi Arabia allowed deposed Tunisian president Zine Al-'Abidine Ben 'Ali to seek refuge in its territory, and the intensive efforts by the Saudis to defend the Hosni Mubarak regime, supplied opponents of the Saudi regime, and the jihadists among them, with new propaganda ammunition. ...

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