The war on terrorism is ongoing and the extremists are still planning and recruiting new terrorist elements to kill, intimidate, bomb and destroy, after their veins were imbued and their minds filled with ideas of Takfir that allow bloodshed, murder and the atonement of the state and the people while awaiting to embrace the “Maidens of Paradise” and the establishment of a Caliphate that would reflect their intentions and terrorist ideas. In the past years, and especially following the detonation of residential compounds in Riyadh and the booby-trapping of Korans in Al-Khalidiya apartment in Holy Mecca, the Saudi security bodies learned many lessons, thus acquiring wide experience and sufficient know-how to manage the war on terrorism. Consequently, they were able to protect the country from the intents of Al-Qaeda and its errant elements. They even managed to thwart terrorist acts that targeted Western and Arab countries through the delivery of accurate security information.
I believe we have accumulated enough experiences to keep us from repeating the mistakes. Ever since the amnesty offered by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, in favor of the elements of the errant factions who surrendered and readopted the right path, a large number of those arrested were released when the Interior Ministry saw that their behavior and conduct had changed.
Some of the wanted men and elements who graduated from the Guantanamo camp and received psychological and social rehabilitation as well as private counseling at the Mohammed Bin Nayef Center for Care and Counseling, relapsed and went back to Al-Qaeda before surrendering again. This was the case of Mohammed al-Oufi and Jaber al-Fifi. In the meantime, others among their companions are still evildoers and continue to constitute a threat, as is the case of Sa’id al-Shihri in Yemen. Unfortunately, some of the latter dealt with the amnesty as though it were a frail and confused one rather than a strong and carefully-chosen one – thus lying and exploiting the amnesty and their release following their rehabilitation and the improvement of their situation, in order to return to Al-Qaeda, detonate the country and intimidate the people. This calls for a thorough reading into the reasons and the causes.
During the past stage, two wanted men voluntarily surrendered. They are Badr al-Shihri from Pakistan and Jaber al-Fifi from Yemen. The latter had been repatriated from the Guantanamo detention camp and had joined the advisory program. However, he escaped and joined the Al-Qaeda organization in Yemen along with his companion Al-Shihri, until he discovered – as he claimed - the size of Al-Qaeda’s lies, errors and bad intentions.
The Saudi government received these returnees, ignored their mistakes and provided them with housing, treatment and decent living. Still, there is a logical fear of seeing them slapping the country a third time, as it was done by suicide bomber Abdullah al-Asiri who carried out the failed attempted assassination of Assistant Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. Indeed, the man pretended to be remorseful and claimed to have recanted his ideas, thus countering the amnesty that was extended to him with the “dagger” of treason and deceit, causing his body to be torn apart in a pit he dug for someone else.
A few days ago, the Al-Qaeda organization in Yemen aired a tape about the attempted assassination of Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. Its military commander, Qassem al-Rimi, assured as he swore by Allah that the attempts to target the country’s leaders, security and stability will continue, saying verbatim: “We will get you in your offices and we will get you in your bedrooms.
We thus advise you to search your beds before going to sleep.” The likes of the latter among those who do not appreciate amnesties or pardons and who listen to Al-Rimi, deserve to be slapped and be handled with the language of power, so that their intentions backfire on them in a more painful way, after they resorted to bombings and acts of Takfir with a bloody wish activated by hatred and spite.
I am not opposed to the counseling program because ideas should be faced with ideas. However, we must make sure that these elements have healed from their criminal illnesses, so that they do not pose a threat to others. Nonetheless, I am opposed to the “pampering” of these criminals through the support offered to them by the government, with monthly allowances, the payment of the costs of their marriages, treatments and housing, while other Saudi young people are suffering from unemployment and are unable to find a place of residence for their families. If those involved in terrorism are compared to the youth of the country who never left its soil and never hurt it in any way, the former terrorized the people, had evil intentions and exercised treason and deceit.
They also planned killings and explosions and lacked any educational qualifications. In the meantime, the young moderate people of the country are working hard. Some of them are unemployed and unable to build homes for their families, despite the fact that they carry degrees, and most importantly enjoy patriotic sentiments.
The terrorist elements must therefore know that the door of pardon is not wide open before them and the stories of their waywardness in order to take into account their insanity and terrorism.
They should know that there can be no forgiveness for those who do not make peace with themselves and reconcile with others. There is no pardon for those who do not appreciate pardon and realize that the country belongs to all. Those who undermine the citizens’ security deserve sanctions, and not forgiveness, incentives, comforting and justifications by saying they were “duped!”