Islamic State Threatens to Destroy Jihadi-Holding Saudi Prison

The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), prompted by the mass execution of members of its rival group al Qaeda, threatened to destroy the Saudi Arabian prison where the jihadists were killed, Reuters reports.

International Business Times notes that while some jihadists were executed by firing squads, others were beheaded.

In an article posted online Tuesday, the al Qaeda rival reportedly said, “The Islamic State always seeks to free prisoners, but we calculate that the ending of the issues of prisoners will not happen except with the eradication of the rule of tyrants, and then destroying their prisons and razing them to the ground.”

ISIS threatened to destroy the Saudi prison where 47 jihadists, including 43 members of al Qaeda, were executed Saturday.

The mass execution also included four Shiite Muslims. Prominent cleric Nimr al-Nimr was among them. His death intensified sectarian tensions between the two regional rivals Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite powerhouse Iran.

Reuters quoted unnamed analysts as saying the execution was mostly meant to send a message to Sunni jihadists.

“While Islamic State and al Qaeda are rivals who have condemned each other on ideological grounds, they are both united in enmity towards Saudi Arabia, which has declared them terrorist groups and locked up thousands of their supporters,” reports Reuters.

“[ISIS], which has claimed responsibility for attacks in the kingdom and stepped up operations in neighboring Yemen, singled out the al-Ha’ir and Tarfiya prisons where many al Qaeda and Islamic State supporters have been detained,” adds the report.

In July, and ISIS supporter blew himself up in a car bomb attack against a checkpoint outside the Ha’ir prison near Riyadh.

“Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings and shootings in Saudi Arabia since Nov. 2014 that have killed more than 50 people, most of them Shi’ites but also more than 15 members of the security forces,” notes Reuters.

“Saudi security officials say the group’s supporters inside Saudi Arabia mainly act independently, depending on Islamic State for only limited logistical help and advice, making them harder to detect, but also less capable of attacks on well protected targets,” it adds.

In December, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), rated as the most lethal Qaeda franchise by some analysts, vowed to “shed the blood of the soldiers of Al Saud” if its members were executed.

AQAP is the Yemen-based wing of the global militant movement and was formed by local jihadists and veterans of al Qaeda’s earlier uprising in Saudi Arabia from 2003-06, for participation in which most of those executed on Saturday were convicted,” points out Reuters.


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