Saudi Twins Murder Mother for Trying to Stop Them from Joining Islamic State

One of Saudi Islamist militant twins, who according to Saudi authorities murdered their mother and tried to kill their father and younger brother for trying to stop them from joining Islamic State in Syria, is seen in this undated handout photo, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS
Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

Twin brothers in Saudi Arabia allegedly stabbed their 67-year-old mother to death after she tried to prevent them from traveling to Syria to engage in jihad on behalf of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), reports Reuters.

In a statement issued after the attack, the Saudi interior ministry reportedly revealed that the 20-year-old twins — Khaled and Saleh al-Oraini — were arrested on suspicion of stabbing their mother Haila as well as their 73-year-old father and their 22-year old brother at the family home in the capital Riyadh.

Citing Saudi media, Reuters notes that “the mother, who died of her wounds, had objected to her sons joining Islamic State jihadists in Syria.”

Saudi media added that the father and brother were in critical condition at a hospital.

Meanwhile, the alleged murderers were arrested trying to flee across the border to Yemen.

The June 24 killing has “outraged Saudi Arabians worried about rising Islamic militancy,” notes Reuters, adding that the incident took place “in a country where respect for elders is seen as a bedrock of society.”

Using a phrase which officials use to describe Islamist militancy, interior ministry spokesman Gen. Mansour al-Turki told Reuters, “The only thing [we have established] is that they [the twins] follow Takfiri ideology.”

“The case is still under investigation,” added the spokesman without elaborating further.

Reuters acknowledges that it was unable to contact the twins, their lawyer, or any family member, adding that it could not independently confirm whether ISIS or religious ideology influenced the alleged murder.

“Had this come from drug addicts or ignorant youth, it would not have been unusual,” Saudi writer Mohammad Ali al-Mahmoud told Reuters. “The shock is that it came from a pair of religious children acting in the name of Islam.”

Reuters learned from a Saudi news outlet that “this is the fifth killing of family members by suspected militants in Saudi Arabia since July [of] last year.”

The Saudi kingdom is concerned about a rise in Islamic radicalization within its borders.

On Monday, a suicide bombing in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Medina near the Prophet’s Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, killed four security force members and wounded five others.

The attack in Medina followed a suicide bombing near the U.S. consulate in the Saudi city of Jeddah that injured two security officers and another suicide attack that targeted a Shiite mosque in the city Qatif. Only the suicide bomber was killed in Qatif.

In January, a suspected ISIS member shot and killed his mother in public in the terrorist group’s de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria because she had encouraged him to abandon the jihadist organization. The jihadist accused his mother of apostasy. ISIS has been linked to numerous savage executions.