Dubai: On Sunday, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said in an online statement on that the country had executed the militants despite knowing that the “mujahedin have pledged to avenge the pure blood of their brothers”. The Saudi-Yemeni and North African branches of Al Qaeda have threatened to avenge Saudi Arabia’s execution of more than 40 militants. The Statement added, the Jan 2 executions were a “new crime committed by the regime of Al Saud, demonstrating their tyranny and their fight against jihad”, claiming that the judicial system served the ruling family in “cementing their rule and oppressing their opponents”.
“They should fear the day when the relatives of those martyrs, their brothers and partisans… celebrate (vengeance) against the infidel tyrants.” The statement charged that the rulers “shed the blood of the mujahedin as an offer to the crusaders who were celebrating the beginning of their new year”. Saudi Arabia announced the execution of 47 people convicted of “terrorism”. Among them were four Shias, including prominent cleric Nimr al Nimr, whose death triggered a diplomatic crisis with Iran.
In an audio statement posted online, leading Saudi Al Qaeda chief Ibrahim al Assiri warned: “We will deal with Al Saud, now that the blood has been shed.” Meanwhile, masked men threw firebombs at an intelligence service compound in the city of Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia, in an apparent reprisal for the execution of the cleric. An interior ministry spokesman said “there was a failed terrorist attempt to burn the building with Molotov cocktails” and that one of the assailants was captured.
Video footage posted on social media and dated Jan 9 showed several masked young men moving under cover of darkness and lobbing firebombs over the protective outer wall of a building compound. Most of the firebombs were seen exploding on the ground inside, setting a tree on fire. Shia activists in the region sought to distance themselves from the attack, saying it could discredit peaceful protests that had been taking place in the area since Nimr’s execution.