Saudi Arabia - 'Hoist by its own petard'

Despite repeated statements by the Saudi Ministry of Interior on thwarting several Al Qaeda attacks in March and April of 2015, the current picture looks dismal at best.

-  First week of May 2015, a Saudi security patrol came under fire in southern Riyadh killing its commander.

-  End May, terror bomb blast at Imam Hussein Mosque, Dammam, killing four.

-  Third week of May and early June 2015, terrorists targeted two Shiia mosques in Katif province and Kuwait, respectively, killing a total of over 50.  

-  Last month July 3, a policeman was gunned down in Taif. 

-  Later in mid July, a car bomb exploded at a security checkpoint in Riyadh killing the driver and seriously wounding two policemen. 

-  Last week on August 6, seventeen Saudi security forces blown off in the city of Abna, Asir Province in south-western Arabia, north of Yemen. The suicide explosion was in "a mosque located inside special forces headquarters .." writes Emirates247  indicating that the attack was carried out in a high security area with the possibility of AQ sympathizers within the Saudi security.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for all deadly attacks in the Arabian Peninsula, reflecting a pattern within a  network of a region seriously at work.  As the wider network expands, the splinter groups multiply.  Najd Province Group and AQAP (Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula) have been boasting terror attacks on Saudi soil.  ISIL may have comfortably resumed the role of an observing mentor as did OBL and al-Zawahri toward al-Zarqavi's AQI  (Al Qaeda in Iraq - the fountainhead of ANF and ISIL) until 2011.  Never buy that eyewash claiming ISIL and Al Qaeda are different, a face-saving misinformation touted by Washington and Riyadh.

After establishing Al Qaeda in Levant ambitions have grown, packed with plans of daring adventures.   As Rajjab Erodgan is constantly lost in his reveries of a modern Ottoman Pasha occupying parts of Syria formerly under Ottoman rule, Al Qaeda has its own aspirations of a modern-day Saladdin that never ended in Aleppo, Ramadi or Mosul.   It is now fixated on taking the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina as one of its prime goals in the Middle-East and part of the mission expanding the "Caliphate."  Portions of Iraq (now occupied by ISIL) have a common border with Saudi Arabia in the north.  Business Insider writes: Much of the area on the Iraqi side is now controlled by Isil, which regards the ultimate capture of Saudi Arabia, home to the “Two Holy Mosques” of Mecca and Medina, as a key goal.  In January 2015, an ISIL death squad in Iraq struck a Saudi outpost on the border killing four Saudi guards.   Consequently (with the U.S. taxpayers' fund, you bet!) the decision was finalized to build a 600-mile wall with state-of-the-art devices across the northern border to protect the Kingdom from attackers it once trained and despatched to annihilate Syria.   Early this year, Telegraph was one of the first to publish the story on Saudi Arabia's "Great Wall" to keep out Isil.

Najd is a province in central Arabia with a small population and Wilayat Najd is a portion of the Najd Province.  According to Global  "The designation Wilayat Najd of Islamic State in Saudi Arabia existed unofficially since 2014. ... The Wilayat Najd is one of the two Islamic State provinces in Saudi Arabia. In late 2014 a group calling itself the “Mujahideen of the Arabian Peninsula”, referring to Saudi Arabia given the statement’s reference to the “apostate rulers of the lands of al-Haramayn (Mecca and Medina)”, also vowed allegiance to IS and announced “the raising of the banner of jihad” (holy war). The statement condemns Saudi Arabia’s involvement in airstrikes against the Sunni mujahideen in Iraq and Syria, rather than against Alawites and Shiites."  In other words, Al Qaeda already has its own territory in the heart of Saudi Arabia since June 2014  as it does in Syria and Iraq acquired about the same period. 

Is the House of Saud, obsessed with Yemen and profoundly flustered  by the success of Iran's nuclear deal, too distracted to fathom the gravity and complexity of this blatantly growing threat on its own soil?   Nay, probably over-confidence is a greater cause of complacency than distraction.   The Kingdom proudly asserts that what it got by the sword will be retained by the sword.  And money talks.  Hi-tech weapons and the huge barrier across the north are far more effective defenses than the swords used by the Sauds for crushing the Ikhwans in late 1920s.  However, the Sauds forget that the Ikhwans were an impoverished lot.  The chickens coming home to roost after everything that has lately happened in Libya, Syria and Iraq are not much less resourceful than the Kingdom itself.

Though the so-called Caliphate across Syria and Iraq was established in June 2014, the mouthy crowd of U.S. counter-terrorism officials, former diplomats and analysts began acknowledging the threat faced by Saudi Arabia as a back-dated opinion only as recently as June 2015.  Prior to that, the fracas was only about "jihad" in Syria and pipe-dreams of Assad's defeat.  No mention of AQ's foundational activities in Najd either.  If not a proof of selective analysis to serve the need of the time, it is certainly a proof of another clumsy intelligence failure.

With so much Salafist euphoria generating within the Kingdom from Al Qaeda's air-castles, Riyadh may need to show greater generosity and raise remunerations to cajole its Wahab partners lest the latter experience a change of heart and a desire to restyle the alliance from al-Saud to al-Qaeda.   After all, the Wahabs  are aware that their alliance with the Sauds serves only the facade of a vital pact, beneath which their unyielding tribal radicalism and the obstinate dependency of the Sauds on Western cooperation & lifestyle couldn't have made them more dissimilar as political partners.  Yet the pact must be endured in exchange for bestowing religious legitimacy on the Sauds that carries excellent monetary benefits for the Wahabs.  While the Kingdom may boast it's more stable than its critics presume, that 'stability' hangs by a frail thread and the  escapades of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula getting more frequent by the months are unlikely to strengthen it.

Attack on Shiia Mosque in Eastern Saudi Province of Qatif May 23, 2015

Asir bombing August 6.
Source: Emirates247

AQ bomb blast at Imam Hussein Mosque, Damam, May 28th 2015.
Source: Press TV
Inset source on left bottom: real