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Saddam’s tactics revive in Saudi attacks.

Saddam’s tactics revive in Saudi attacks.

A mosque situated within a security forces academy in the southwestern city of Abha in Saudi Arabia was the latest site for a suicide bomb attack on 6th August. 19 died and were 60 wounded, most of them were new cadets.

An organization calling itself “IS Hejaz” claimed responsibility. The attack is the deadliest against Saudi security since the end of al-Qaeda’s insurrection in Saudi Arabia in 2006 and the first to target a Sunni mosque within the kingdom.

The ISIS strategy in establishing a new entity (IS Hejaz) within Saudi Arabia, appears to follow a similar policy adopted by Saddam Hussein and the Baath party during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1990 and in the run up to the Second Gulf War in early 1991.

Saddam’s intelligence and media apparatus continuously referred to Saudi Arabia as an “artificial country” with central Arabia (Najd) and western Arabia (Hejaz) seen as two separate entities. Their rhetoric suggested a need to return these areas to their original status, before the founding of modern Saudi Arabia in the early 20th century. A group called “IS Najd” has already been identified in the central Arabia area.

5 Dimension consultants who have direct access to Saudi affairs commented, “The Iraqi propaganda on this particular issue was potent enough to provoke the veteran Saudi politician, the late Ghazi al-Qusseibi, to write his famous poem (which then turned into a nationalistic song broadcasted widely) entitled (Yes, we are Hejaz and we are Najd)”.

Many of the remaining former senior Baathists and intelligence officers from Saddam’s era are now in senior positions in ISIS. It is therefore plausible that the ISIS has resurrected this policy of “deconstructing” Saudi Arabia alongside the ancient cultural and geographical regions of “Najd” and “Hejaz”.

5 Dimension consultants told, “we have been speaking to a senior official within the Saudi Ministry of Interior and they have uncovered a new worrying trend in which ISIS online recruiters are discouraging would be new recruits from Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries from traveling to the ISIS territories anymore.”

“Apparently they are instructing potential recruits to remain in their countries until they are contacted online by other ISIS members with further instructions. The trend began last April and might have contributed to a drop in the number of Saudis joining the ISIS in Syria and Iraq on monthly basis.”

5 Dimensions told, “it is our analysis that ISIS will not only increase the frequency of attacks against security forces, but also diversifying their targeting and attack methods for some time to come.”

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