Special Report: Reaping the Whirlwind
Vol: 26 Issue: 11 Tuesday, November 11, 2003
An Arab magazine claimed Tuesday that a member of al Qaeda had sent them an e-mail claiming responsibility for Saturday’s homicide bombing in Riyadh that killed 17 people and left more than 100 wounded.
“We struck Muhaya compound,” the London-based weekly Al-Majalla quoted an e-mail from a purported Al Qaeda operative identified as Abu Mohammed al-Ablaj as saying, referring to the residential compound attacked Saturday. The e-mail was first seen late Monday and released a statement about it to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Prince Turki al-Faisal, now Saudi ambassador to Great Britain, issued a poignant statement to ‘all the peoples of the world’ to help the Saudis ‘stop this evil’ . . . blah, blah, blah.
Prince Turki used to be the head of Saudi intelligence when he worked with Osama bin Laden during the Afghan war against the Soviets. The Saudis financed and supported al-Qaeda up to and after September 11, and right up until al-Qaeda turned on them after the money started drying up.
There are some six million foreign workers working in the kingdom. Not because there aren’t enough Saudis to do the work — the Saudi unemployment rate is 25% — but because the current generation of pampered, oil-rich Saudis never had to work before.
The House of Saud buys its power using oil profits using the ‘bread and circuses’ principle of governing. Instead of investing in things like education and infrastructure, the House of Saud just gave the money to the people to keep them quiet.
Now there aren’t enough trained Saudis to do skilled labor, or enough unskilled Saudis willing to get their hands dirty. The only real educational investment made by the House of Saud was in religious education. Students in Saudi madrassas commit the Koran to memory and learn of the need to convert the whole world to Islam — by whatever means necessary.
It bought peace with the many Islamic conservatives in the kingdom. But long term, it guaranteed that several generations of Saudi men would be unemployable for anything except al Qaeda or teaching in a religious school, turning out more schoolteachers — and more al-Qaeda members.
As long as the graduates of the Saudi Wahabbist schools practiced their arts outside the kingdom, the House of Saud was content to look the other way.
Thousands did, joining Osama during the Afghan war in the ’80’s and staying with him through the war with America.
Since then, they’ve been driven out of Egypt, Afghanistan, Afghanistan and Iran and repatriated back to Saudi Arabia. The ‘evil’ the Prince Turki called on the world to help them destroy is one of their own design.
The problem al-Qaeda has with the house of Saud isn’t that they are corrupt or inept, or even that they are one of the most repressive regimes in the world.
Saudi Arabia is a country in which Wahabbi Islam is the only legal religion, where thieves have their hands amputated publicly with a sword and drinking alcohol means a prison term complete with lashes.
Although the House of Saud is the patron and defender and chief evangelist of Wahabbi Islam, they aren’t ‘religious’ enough for al-Qaeda.
That is the nature of evil. It feeds on itself and grows until soon it turns on and destroys its container. The House of Saud sold its soul to the devil and now it wants to renegotiate the deal. It doesn’t work that way . . . at least, not any more.
Time has run out.
“And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert . . . A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.” (Jeremiah 25:24,31,32)