Saudi Arabia: terror and intrigue


Over the past few days, several explosions have rocked Saudi Arabia. Today, explosive devices were found in the vicinity of the US consulate in the Saudi city of Jeddah. Saudi Arabia is one of the main exporters of terrorism and Islamic radicalism in the world. However, domestic Islamic extremism is also one of the factors debilitating national stability.

Prospective organizers

Those targeted by the attacks say that they suspect radical Wahhabis to be behind this. In Jeddah, a suicide bomber blew up the American consulate and in Qatif, in the eastern part of the country, an explosion took place near a Shiite mosque. in Medina, near the Prophet’s Mosque where Muhammad is buried, another explosion hit which accords with how Wahhabis believe that the worship of graves and holy places is a form of idolatry.

After the capture of Mecca by the Saudis in 1925, 95% of the buildings in the historical part of the city were destroyed under their rule, including five of the seven mosques guilty by Muhammad’s daughters and companions. The houses of Khadija, Muhammad’s wife, Abu, Bakr, Ali, and Oraida, the grandson of Muhammad, were objects of pilgrimage.

Terror for export

Saudi Arabia is the main source of radical Wahhabi ideas on a global scale. Saudi money funds armed militants in the Caucasus, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Saudi preachers promote the idea of ​​"pure" radical Islam from the UK to Indonesia. However, radical Wahhabism is an "export" product, as the domestic life of Saudi Arabia remains very distant from Wahhabi ideals.

Tribal divisions and factors of belonging to the Saud royal family play a huge role in the life of the kingdom. Groupings of Wahhabis, oriented towards different theologians, have complex relations with each other and also take part in political processes. In fact, Saudi Arabia is a traditional, feudal Arab state with a strong tribal component in which official Wahhabi Islam is interpreted as an archaic ideology justifying the rule of the Saud dynasty. However, discourse on “pure Islam” can be understood in a different way as a radical globalist, anti-traditional ideology. And this can be seen on a global scale. This global interpretation affects Saudi Arabia itself, leading to the appearance of anti-state terrorism within its own borders. In order not to explode from the inside out, Saudi Arabia exports radical Islam abroad, sending the destructive energy beyond its borders.

Intrigue in the house of Saud

None of this alters the fact that the Wahhabi network in Saudi Arabia can be used as part of dynastic intrigues between members of the Saud dynasty. The explosion in Medina is a direct challenge to King Salman as "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques”, Mecca and Medina, and his son Muhammad bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the country. Many in the Saudi elite want to get rid of this arrogant and unpredictable Prince Muhammad, or at least significantly undermine his influence on his father.