The Islamic State on Thursday claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s bombing at a World War I cemetery in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. Two people were injured in what the Saudi government denounced as a “failed and cowardly attack.”
The Jeddah attackers detonated an improvised explosive device at a non-Muslim cemetery where Western diplomats were gathered for a ceremony organized by the French embassy to Saudi Arabia.
The bombers evidently targeted the French, the latest in a series of jihad attacks after cartoons of Mohammed were republished by French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo in September 2020. Jihadis attacked the offices of the magazine in 2015, brutally murdering 12 people and beginning a series of Islamist terrorist attacks across France.
Much the same thing is happening today, beginning with the savage beheading of a teacher in Paris last month after he showed the Mohammed cartoons to his class. French President Emmanuel Macron’s unyielding response to the terror attacks enraged Islamists around the world, bringing threats of terrorism against the French at home and abroad.
The attack in Jeddah injured a Greek consular employee and a Saudi security officer. France’s i24 News reported on Friday that a British citizen may also have been wounded.
In a statement issued Thursday by the Islamic State “news service” Amaq and published on the encrypted messaging platform Telegram, ISIS claimed its “soldiers” planted the bomb at the cemetery in Jeddah.
ISIS said the attack “primarily targeted the French consul over his country’s insistence on publishing the cartoons insulting to the Prophet of God.”
A second Telegram statement from ISIS repeated the claim, saying the attack was conducted “in support” of Mohammed against the “consuls of crusading countries” gathered at the cemetery. Neither statement provided any evidence to back up the claim of responsibility.
“We will continue to hit with an iron fist against anyone who thinks of threatening our security and stability,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a speech on Friday, promising “painful and severe punishment” for terrorists.
Saudi Arabia is scheduled to host the G20 economic summit on November 21 and 22, the first time the event has been hosted by an Arab nation. France is among the participants. While the summit itself will be a “virtual event” this year due to the coronavirus, security officials must be alert for the possibility of an attention-grabbing terrorist attack timed to coincide with the meeting.