Thursday, May 16, 2013

Al-Qaeda Fomenting Jihad Against and Rebellion Against Saudi Regime



The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – the umbrella organization of Al-Qaeda members in Yemen and Saudi Arabia – has recently been strongly emphasizing and encouraging the recurring protests in Saudi Arabia demanding the release of male and female jihadis from Saudi prisons. 

This emphasis follows the organization's realization that such protests are an effective means of stirring up popular opinion in Saudi Arabia. 

AQAP is also particularly underlining the demand for the release of the wives of mujahideen who were arrested after demonstrating in protest against the incarceration of their husbands and other family members, and also calling on Saudis to launch jihad against the Saudi regime, and to topple it. 

One manifestation of these efforts by the AQAP leadership is an audio recording by AQAP deputy leader Sa'id Al-Shihri, in which he called on Saudis to support the mujahideen in Saudi prisons. He also called on them to participate in protest demonstrations and marches that, he said, would be a prelude to the toppling of the Saudi regime which, along with the enemies of Islam, principally the U.S., is fighting the mujahideen. 

Likewise, AQAP mufti Ibrahim Al-Rubaish said in this context that the recent release of  prisoners in Saudi Arabia had resulted only because of pressure from "the popular rage that is on the brink of exploding" and from the March 2013 kidnapping of Saudi Deputy Consul-General in Yemen 'Abdallah Al-Khalidi. Al-Rubaish also called on Saudis to continue to demonstrate in support of the prisoners, to bring up the issue on the social networks and forums, and even to wage jihad for the sake of Allah. He also called on the freed prisoners to urge others to go out to wage jihad. 

Analysts and writers on the forums also noticed this strategy, and discussed it. For example, the jihadi analyst for strategic affairs 'Abdallah bin Muhammad stated that the cause of the prisoners was the only one that was successful in motivating the Saudi street, and that after AQAP had realized this, it had it kidnapped the Saudi deputy consul-general in Yemen in order to increase the pressure on the Saudi regime. Bin Muhammad added his own theory – that in order to relieve this internal pressure on it, the Saudi regime was now striving to establish an independent Saudi Al-Qaeda organization which would cause the disintegration of AQAP as a Yemeni-Saudi organization, and justify to public opinion the Saudi regime's clampdown on the mujahideen in Saudi Arabia, which would help it overcome the increasing popular agitation on the issue of the prisoners.

In a similar vein, "Abu Asma Al-Kubbi," a senior writer on the Shumoukh Al-Islam jihadi forum, called on the Saudis to step up their activity on the prisoners issue, and to support the wives of the mujahideen and defend them and their honor. This, he said, should be while following instructions from AQAP and also constantly updating the organization on what is happening in the field. 

In response to AQAP's interference in internal Saudi matters and threats to step up its agitating there, the Saudi Interior Ministry called a press conference at which it released data regarding the number of Al-Qaeda prisoners in Saudi prisons, the number of freed prisoners, and the status of those who remain incarcerated. The ministry spokesman rejected out of hand all claims that the prisoners were being humiliated and denied their rights, and accused the leaders of the campaign for the prisoners of seeking to damage Saudi security efforts against Al-Qaeda and to provoke Saudi citizens into clashing with the security apparatuses. 

In the wake of all this, and particularly after the arrest of several wives of mujahideen who demonstrated in Buraidah and AQAP's demand that they be released, and in light of the extensive campaign in the jihad forums and social networks demanding the release of male and female prisoners, the Saudi mufti issued a fatwa banning women from participating in demonstrations, defining doing so as a "grave sin." 



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