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Saudi Arabia & Terrorism: Strict intentions to achieve elimination

By: Taha Sakr

The successive strikes of terrorists in Saudi Arabia reveal the determination of the forces of evil and their supporters to target the land of the Two Holy Mosques.

Saudi Arabia has achieved remarkable efforts and qualitative successive victories in its war against terrorism, which have been evident in its accurate strikes against terrorists, which also exposed the countries that support and sponsor them.

The latest of these victories, when Saudi State Security announced the arrest of a terrorist cell whose members had received military training inside Revolutionary Guard sites in Iran.

Historical responsibility

These victories reflect the efforts made by the Kingdom to combat terrorism, which Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz revealed in his speech to the work of the seventy-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly, which was held on September 23.

In his speech, the Saudi monarch stressed that “achieving success in the battle against terrorism and extremism requires intensifying joint efforts by facing this challenge comprehensively that deals with combating terrorist financing and extremist ideology.”

King Salman stated, “Saudi Arabia has supported several international institutions that contribute to supporting joint efforts in facing this challenge, as it supported the United Nations International Center for Combating Terrorism with an amount of $110 million and established the Global Center for Combating Extremist Thought (Etidal), and the Kingdom also hosts the International Center for Targeting Terrorist Financing,”.

“Saudi Arabia, based on its position in the Islamic world, assumes a special and historical responsibility, which is to protect our tolerant Islamic belief from attempts to distort terrorist organizations and extremist groups,” he added.

Renewed warning from Iran

The Saudi monarch urged “not to be complacent in confronting the states that sponsor terrorism and sectarianism, and to stand firmly in front of those who support extremist transnational ideologies.”

The world also warned against Iran’s continued support for terrorism, pointing out that the Tehran regime has increased its expansionist activities, built its terrorist networks, and wasted the wealth and resources of the Iranian people to achieve expansionary projects that only resulted in chaos, extremism, and sectarianism.

“In continuation of that aggressive approach, the Iranian regime last year targeted oil installations in Saudi Arabia, in flagrant violation of international laws and an attack on international peace and security,” he explained.

These efforts also come in fulfillment of a pledge made by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in statements he made in October 2017 regarding “eliminating the remnants of extremism shortly” and returning the kingdom “to moderate Islam that is open to all religions.”

2020…successive strikes against terrorism

On the ground, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has succeeded in thwarting many terrorist plots through specific security operations during the current year.

The last of these operations was Monday evening, when a terrorist cell whose members had received military training was overthrown at Revolutionary Guard sites in Iran.

The Saudi State Security announced the arrest of the 10 accused members of this cell. Three of them received training in Iran, while the rest were associated with the cell with different roles. The Saudi authorities also “seized several weapons and explosives hidden in two locations.”

On July 15, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia classified six individuals and entities for providing facilities and financial support to the terrorist organization ISIS, including companies in Turkey and Syria.

This came months after the Saudi security services, specifically on January 7, arrested the terrorist Muhammad bin Hussein Ali Al Ammar in Al-Qatif Governorate, who is considered the most dangerous terrorist in the terrorist list of “9” that was announced by the Saudi Ministry of Interior in 2016.

Notable victories

Saudi security services also thwarted many terrorist plots since King Salman took power on January 23, 2015, including thwarting a suicide attack on July 4, 2016, which had targeted the Prophet’s Mosque.

Likewise, they foiled a plan to bomb Al-Jawhara Stadium (West) on October 11, 2016, as well as thwarting a “suicide attempt” targeting the US embassy in Riyadh in March 2015.

In an important step on the road to the war on terror, on July 20, 2017, a Saudi royal decree was issued to establish the Presidency of State Security.

The agency succeeded in focusing on combating terrorism, in terms of security, intelligence, and financing0. It also facilitated communication with the relevant authorities externally.

Throughout the year 2019, the Saudi security forces also succeeded in thwarting many terrorist operations, killing and arresting the attacking terrorists.

On April 22, 2019, the Saudi authorities arrested 13 people who had planned to carry out terrorist attacks in the country.

This came hours after the Saudi security forces thwarted a terrorist act targeting a security point in Zulfi Governorate (center), during which four terrorists were killed.

On April 7 of the same year, Saudi security carried out a pre-emptive operation in Qatif, in the east of the Kingdom, during which four wanted security personnel were monitored on the Abu Hurriyah Road on their way to carry out a terrorist act.

The operation resulted in the killing of two wanted security men and the arrest of the other wanted men.

On May 11, 2019, the Saudi Presidency of State Security announced the elimination of a terrorist cell consisting of eight elements in the Qatif Governorate, “which was newly formed planning to carry out terrorist operations targeting vital installations and security sites.”

Saudi Arabia had also implemented a pre-emptive security operation in 2019 targeting a terrorist den in Qatif, which resulted in thwarting a criminal plot, eliminating six terrorists, and arresting one of them.

Also, attacks targeting security personnel and vital installations were thwarted, and terrorist cells and organizations were dismantled.

Integrated strategy

The security efforts to combat terrorism are also accompanied by continuous development, legislative and advocacy efforts to spread moderation and combat extremism.

As part of these efforts, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs for Call and Guidance in Saudi Arabia organizes many lectures, sermons, and seminars that are organized in various regions within a comprehensive vision aimed at dealing a fatal blow to the remnants of that terrorist group.

In terms of legislation, the Saudi Council of Ministers approved, in January 2019, the executive regulations for the system for combating terrorism crimes and financing.

This regulation supports preventive measures in Saudi Arabia to combat the financing of this phenomenon, as its financial institutions such as banks, finance, and securities companies have a good understanding of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

In addition to security, legislative and advocacy efforts, development is a fundamental component of the Kingdom’s comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism.

These successive strikes by terrorists are part of an integrated strategy to combat terrorism, both at home and abroad.

On the foreign level, Saudi Arabia has achieved remarkable successes, culminating in the success of the Saudi Special Forces arresting the leader of the ISIS organization in Yemen on June 3, 2019, in a qualitative operation.

Also within those efforts, Saudi Arabia announced on December 14, 2015, the formation of an Islamic military alliance of 41 countries led by it to fight terrorism and hosted its headquarters.

On May 21, 2017, it launched the Global Center for Combating Extremist Thought (Etidal) in Riyadh to counter terrorism and spread tolerance and coexistence among peoples. In the same month, the work of the International Center for Targeting Terrorist Financing began in Riyadh.

The Saudi Ministry of Defense has also established a specialized center for the intellectual pursuit of terrorism called the Center for Intellectual Warfare, which specializes in confronting the roots of extremism and terrorism and consolidating the concepts of true religion.

The Kingdom’s relentless efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing culminated in the unanimous vote of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on June 21, 2019, in favor of the Kingdom’s accession to the full membership of the group as the first Arab country to receive such support, embodying the Kingdom’s great efforts in this aspect.

Important connotations

The successive strikes by terrorists in Saudi Arabia reveal the determination of the evil forces and their supporters to target the country of the Two Holy Mosques and try to destabilize its security and stability.

It also reflects the efficiency of the security services and their high readiness in dealing with these operations, whether in terms of pre-emptive operations, as happened in Qatif, by confronting terrorists’ plots and plans early or in the speed of response to treacherous terrorist attacks, as happened in Zulfi.

These successes confirm Saudi Arabia’s determination to continue pursuing terrorist elements and tightening the screws on them, as well as thwarting their plans that they implement in the service of foreign agendas.

This security superiority also highlights the success of the Kingdom’s comprehensive strategy in confronting terrorism, which is based on the security side of the development, legislative, awareness, and advocacy pillars.

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