The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) branch in Saudi Arabia is focusing its recruitment efforts on young Saudis, many of them brothers in their 20s, reports the Saudi Gazette.
According to the report:
Daesh [ISIS] is targeting young Saudis, usually in their early 20s, to commit terror acts in the Kingdom and to kill their own relatives and close kin. Most of the terrorist operations in the Kingdom [in recent years] were carried out by Saudi terrorists who were between 20-26 years of age…
Daesh has made it a point to recruit the teenagers to become terrorists making them dummies in its hands.
— Saudi Gazette (@Saudi_Gazette) July 11, 2016
Only one recent terrorist operation has been carried out by a Saudi ISIS jihadist over 30 years old, according to the kingdom’s Interior Ministry.
Many of the recruits targeted by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, appear to be brothers from various families.
“Daesh (so-called IS) group had recruited 12 Saudi brothers to carry out five terrorist operations of which four were in the Kingdom and the fifth was against a famous mosque in Kuwait,” notes the Saudi Gazette.
Late last month, young twin brothers identified as ISIS jihadists — Khaled and Saleh Al-Owaini — stabbed their 67-year-old mother death after she tried to stop them from joining the terrorist group in Syria.
The twins also stabbed their 73-year-old father and their 22-year old brother who reportedly ended up at a hospital in critical condition. Some news outlets report that the twins are 19 years old while others say they are 20.
“The twins admitted to the crime, which they committed in cold blood, and said they both belonged to Daesh, which had asked them to kill their mother, father and brothers,” reports the Gazette.
Various siblings have been linked to recent attacks reportedly carried out on behalf of ISIS.
“Abdul Rahman and Ibrahim Saleh Al-Omar, two brothers, killed themselves when they exploded their booby-trapped belt at Faraj Al-Omran mosque in Qatif on Monday, July 4,” points out the Gazette.
“Majed and Mohammed Abdullah Al-Zahrani, two Saudi brothers, were involved in the terrorist explosion of the Imam Saddiq Mosque in Kuwait,” it adds. “Close coordination between the security forces in the Kingdom and Kuwait led to the arrest of the brothers.”
Some of the attacks involving brothers in their 20s linked to ISIS date back to 2015.
In a statement, the Saudi Interior Ministry revealed that “four brothers were involved in the explosion that took place at the mosque of the emergency forces in Asir on Aug. 6, 2015, killing 15 military staff and injuring 33 others,” according to the Gazette.
Saudi security forces apprehended two brothers in September 2015, notes the newspaper, adding that they were ISIS members and were hiding in a villa located east of the kingdom’s capital Riyadh.
“They had turned the villa into a hide-out for terrorists but were caught by the security forces following a heavy exchange of fire,” reports the newspaper. “They were Ahmed Saeed Jabir Al-Zahrani (21 years old) and Mohammed Saeed Jabir Al-Zahrani, who was only 19.”
Overall, young Saudi men recruited by ISIS have been responsible for most attacks in the kingdom in recent years.
“The terrorist who exploded a body vest at the security check point near the Prophet’s Mosque in [the holy city of Medina on July 4]… and the three other terrorists who were killed in Qaif [that day] were all under 20 years of age,” reports the Saudi Gazette.
“The series of explosions which targeted eight mosques in six different cities and towns in the Kingdom on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, were carried out by six Saudis, who were between 20-30 years of age,” it adds.
ISIS has expanded to countries and regions outside Iraq and Syria including Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sinai, Nigeria, Algeria, the Caucuses, and Afghanistan-Pakistan, concedes the Obama administration.
The terrorist group is also seeking to officially establish branches in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Somalia where it already has a presence.