Some experts have speculated that the recent terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia are aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country. And it is not ISIL that stands behind it, but warring clans in Saudi Arabia itself. We asked this question to Theodore Karasik, Senior Advisor to Gulf State Analytics in Washington DC.
Is that the case? What can you say about this?
The idea that the Saudis launched a false flag operation against themselves is ridiculous. This idea is conspiracy and serves no purpose except as a sick joke. The fact that ISIL declared war against Saudi in November 2014 is being played out now with low scale but hitting significant targets is directly from Daesh’s playbook. ISIL stated specifically that KSA is a strategic goal in order to remove the Al Saud from power. This fact is why Daesh has not only infiltrated the Kingdom but also finds individuals in which to recruit.
ISIL is able to operate in the Kingdom despite a robust counter terrorism campaign. Adherents can be found in several key Saudi cities and especially in the Kingdom’s north.
The triple attack in the Kingdom, especially in Madina, is extremely serious. ISIL wants to disrupt, especially the pending Hajj, not only the Kingdom’s custodianship of the two holy mosques but also sidetrack Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s National Transformation Program (NPT) and Vision 2030.
Already, Daesh is showing that it is able to-for now- operate under the radar of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef’s Ministry of Interior. The fact that Nayef is responsible for Hajj security means that Saudi security services need to be extra careful for the largest mass human event in the world.