Saudi Arabia and the Struggle Against Al-Qaeda

[Economist-UK] The Saudi kingdom has long been a fountainhead of jihadist radicalism, with martyrdom-seekers going on one-way tickets to such places as Chechnya, Iraq and the Twin Towers in America. At first rather complacent about Islamist terror, the Saudi rulers rumbled into active opposition only after their own cities came under fire, starting with a series of bombings in their capital, Riyadh, in May 2003. Now Saudi courts have begun procedures to try 991 prisoners held on terrorism charges. The trials will take place under Islamic law before a panel of judges schooled in the strict Wahhabist interpretation that has helped to inspire the ideology of groups such as al-Qaeda itself. As often as not, state-anointed scholars attack the radicals not on the grounds that bigotry and killing are wicked, but because their jihad makes Islam look bad.

2008-10-24 01:00:00

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