Explaining the Saudi Mass Executions

January 7, 2016 - San Francisco, CA – PipeLineNews.org – On Saturday the House of Saud executed over 40 individuals it had judged as threats to state security. Most of them were Sunnis who supported jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda or were actually members thereof.

For example, consider Faris al Shuwail al-Zahrani:

“The notion that Saudi Arabia believes it is facing not only a physical threat, but an ideological battle with a rival interpretation of Salafi Islam, was strengthened by state media's focus on Faris al-Shuwail al-Zahrani among the executed. Zahrani, bearded, bespectacled, and in prison since 2004, is portrayed in Saudi media as al Qaeda's main ideologue during a series of attacks on expatriate housing compounds, police stations and oil facilities that killed hundreds.” [source, Angus McDowall, Saudi executions driven by fear of militancy, signal combative policy , Reuters]

Then there is the case of the Iranian asset, Shia Sheikh, al-Nimr - a candidate for media canonization about whom we wrote just a few days ago.

Al-Nimr was a well known commodity, identified for his ties to Iran, within the American intelligence service, and long history of subversive activity.

“Al-Nimr, a former follower of the late Ayatollah Mohammad al-Husseini al-Shirazi, now follows the religious leadership of Iraqi Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Mudarrasi, the Karbala-based spiritual leader of the Islamic Action Organization. In the meeting with PolOff, al-Nimr complimented both Ayatollahs for being leaders in combining the power of the mind with the power of the Quran in determining guidance for public life. Al-Nimr described his and al-Mudarrasi's attitude towards Islamic governance as being something between "wilayet al-faqih," in which a country is led by a single religious leader, and "shura al-fuqaha," in which a council of religious leaders should lead the state. Al-Nimr, who conducted religious studies for approximately ten years in Tehran and "a few" years in Syria, [source, Meeting with Controversial Shi’a Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr, August 23, 2008, WikiLeaks]

So what exactly is the Islamic Action Organization and why is it of importance in ascertaining if al-Namr was a threat to the Saudi government?

"Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi (born 1945, in Karbala, Iraq) is a Grand Iraqi jurist marja', and described as the ‘mastermind’ behind the strategy of the Shiraziyyin, a Shia Islamist sect that follows the teachings of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad al-Husayni al-Shirazi.Al-Modaressi was the leader of the Iran-based Islamist paramilitary organization, the Islamic Action Organization (also known as Islamic Amal). The Organization was conceived of as a ‘secret revolutionary avant-guard’ to spread Khomeini-inspired revolution throughout the Arab world. Al-Modaressi was chosen to lead the Organization by Ayatollah Khomeini. It was responsible for numerous actions in Iraq in the 1980s including suicide bombings. In 1980, the Islamic Action Organization sought to assassinate Iraq’s deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz,which helped precipitate the Iran-Iraq war. [source, Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, Wiki]

The prosecution rests...

If there is one thing that the Saudis understand its jihad, for without it the kingdom would never have come into existence and wouldn’t have been able to have so effectively exported the revolutionary ideology of Wahhabism abroad, witness the 80% of American mosques where this iteration of Islamism is preached and the large number of similarly tainted mega-mosques which have been constructed in Europe [see for example, Elizabeth Whitman, Amid Muslim Refugee Crisis, Saudi Arabia Vows To Build 200 Mosques In Germany].

Yet despite the obvious threat represented by those who were put to the sword, many writers, even those with a counter terror perspective, are having a rough time understanding why these actions were taken now.

There are, from our perspective a number of prime considerations which illuminated the thinking behind the Saudi decision.

1. Regarding the Muslim world, under this president American foreign policy is in shambles, that is where it has not already been transformed into a malignant agent of pro-Islamist and particularly pro Shia intrigue.

2. The 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca still looms large in Saudi security thinking, as is the decision that was made at the time to buy off the Salafists by giving them more power.

3. Iran has established itself within the Ummah as the grand hegemon and remains the acknowledged largest funder of state terrorism on the planet. As it continues to rapidly accrete power, it does so at the expense of Saudi influence. The Saudis are constantly under attack by Iran and its proxies.

4. The falling price of oil presents a serious challenge to the Saudi policy of maintaining power by buying off potentially hostile constituencies.

So what are the Saudis to conclude from all of this?

They are obviously aware that this WH seeks the downfall of their regime [all they have to do is look at their neighbor Egypt to understand the lengths to Team Obama will go to get its way] and are thus on their own at best, one of the reasons they have established such extensive and mutually beneficial ties to Israel. They realize that they erred badly after the takeover in Mecca, in granting the extreme fundamentalists more power.

Though undeclared, the Saudis know they are at war with Iran as well as their more doctrinaire co-religionist citizens.

What better way to send a message to all concerned parties that the days of “temperance” such as it exists within the Saudi Kingdom, are over than by a mass execution of political prisoners?

This regime may eventually go down but it has chosen to make its stand now, rather than a year or more down the road, hoping to right things under a new American administration. The Saudis see their power waning and also understand that despite their weaknesses they will never be more powerful than they are today.

Therein lies the explanation.

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