Chronological order of the terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia

Jihadists have carried out many shootings and bombings in Saudi Arabia since 2014, soon after Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, called on his supporters there to mount attacks at home instead of traveling to join him in Syria or Iraq.

Most of the attacks targeted minority Shi’ite Muslims or security officers and were either carried out by people who pledged allegiance to Islamic State or were claimed by the militant group in subsequent online postings.

Saudi Arabia had earlier barred its citizens from going to fight in jihad overseas, used its clergy to denounce Islamic State, imposed prison terms for supporting the group and joined U.S.-led airstrikes against it in Syria.

Here is a timeline of some of the more prominent attacks attributed to the group in Saudi Arabia:

Nov 8 2014 – Three militants pledged to Islamic State fired upon Shi’ites marking their annual Ashura religious rites in Dalwa village of al-Ahsa in Eastern Province, killing seven there as well as the driver of a car they had hijacked nearby.

Apr 6 2015 – Two policemen killed in drive-by shooting in Riyadh. Security services detain suspects and say the attack was the work of Islamic State.

May 22 and May 29 2015 – Suicide bombers target Shi’ite mosques on consecutive Fridays, killing 21 in Qudeih village in Qatif and four in Dammam, both in Eastern Province. The attacks are claimed by Islamic State.

Jul 17 2015 – A teenager kills his uncle, an army colonel before driving to the checkpoint outside Ha’er prison in south Riyadh where many jihadists are incarcerated and detonating a bomb, killing himself and wounding police. Islamic State claims responsibility.

Aug 6 2015 – A suicide bomber pledged to Islamic State kills 15 and wounds 33 in a mosque in a security forces’ compound in Asir province.

Sept 2015 – Two brothers kill their cousin in the desert after he joined the Saudi army, posting the video, in which they pledge allegiance to Islamic State, online. On 24 September they shoot dead another two civilians and a policeman in a nearby town. One is caught and the other killed by police days later.

Oct 16 2015 – Shooters kill five people outside a pre-Ashura event in the Shi’ite village of Saihat in Qatif. Islamic State issues a statement saying it was behind the attack.

Oct 27 2015 – One person is killed by a suicide bomber in a mosque in Najran near the Yemen border used by the small Ismaili Shi’ite offshoot. It is claimed by Islamic State.

Jan 29 2016 – A bombing and shooting in al-Ahsa, Eastern Province, where about half the population is Shi’ite, kills four and injures 33. The bombers include a Saudi and an Egyptian.

Apr 5 – Islamic State claims responsibility for assassinating a Saudi security officer, Colonel Kitab al-Hammadi, in al-Arja in al-Dawadmi, south of Riyadh.

Jul 4 – A suicide bomber dies in blast just outside the U.S. consulate in Jeddah early in the morning. At sunset on Ramadan’s penultimate day, suicide bombers also attack outside a mosque in Qatif, killing only themselves and outside the Prophet’s mosque in Medina, killing four security officers.


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