Saudi Arabia Arrests Suspected Recruiters for Extremists Groups Abroad
August 27, 2014
(WASHINGTON, DC) - Saudi Arabia’s security forces on Monday arrested eight nationals on suspicion of recruiting minors for extremists groups abroad. The arrests occurred in northern Riyadh, following complaints from concerned citizens and parents that minors were approached to join or support such groups. The suspects are currently in custody pending further investigation.
The arrests were made as part of a security operation implementing a royal decree that forbids any involvement in terrorist and extremist organizations.
Yesterday, a specialized court in Riyadh convicted 23 people for terrorism-related crimes, including belonging to a terrorist group, terror financing, weapons offenses, forgery, travelling or planning to travel abroad to joint terrorist-led war, and rendering assistance to wanted terrorists. The court sentenced the defendants to prison terms ranging from 3 years to 33 years. The defendants have thirty days to appeal their convictions
King Abdullah recently called on leaders and scholars of the Islamic nation to carry out their duty and stand strong in the face of those trying to hijack Islam. King Abdullah stated, “These groups have become an easy tool for the enemies of Islam who use them to terrorize and kill innocent people through the distortion of the holy text and interpretation of Islamic law to serve their ends."
The Kingdom's most senior religious scholars have condemned terrorist groups for distorting and violating the teachings of Islam and its prohibition on the killing of the innocent. Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-AsShaikh, who is also Chairman of the Council of Senior Ulema (religious scholars) and the General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta, stated, "The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism do not belong to Islam in any way, but are the first enemy of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims, as seen in the crimes of the so-called Daash (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda and their affiliated groups.”