Sunday, December 27, 2009


*** An excellent analysis. MS ***


The Saudi Double-Game: The Internet “Counter-Radicalization” Campaign in Saudi Arabia

Col. (Ret.) Jonathan Fighel - ICT Senior Researcher


The confrontation with Al Qaeda is first and foremost-a battle of ideas. Ideas are one of the most important exports of Saudi Arabia in its quest for Islamic dominance as it regards itself as the spearhead of the Muslim world as the Guardian of the two Holy Places committed to taking care of Muslim communities and minorities around the world.[1] Al-Qaeda’s intellectual origins are a synthesis of two interlinked and equally important sources of influence first, by Abdullah Azzam[2]. Second, from the Saudi Wahhabi purist doctrine, arose in the early 1990s and sought to Islamize Saudi society in response to a perceived Western "cultural attack" on the Muslim world. The Saudi Ulama (Islamic Religious Scholars) have designed to conduct a two-pronged plan to thwart the perceived "Western conspiracy": in the inner arena they sought to purge Saudi Arabia of any Western influences and Islamize all aspects of Saudi life, including its judiciary, media, financial institutions, and educational systems. On the external transnational borderless Ummah level, the Saudi Ulama sanctioned—backed by the Saudi establishment–a state sponsored international counterattack campaign in which they attempted to influence the Western world, mainly via Muslims living around the world.

The Means of Combating the Intellectual Attack on the Muslim World, a book published in Mecca by the Saudi-controlled, pan-Islamist Muslim World League, is a typical manifestation of this conception. The author, Hassan Muhammad Hassan, describes the Western intellectual attack as a tumor whose timely detection is critical to the body's recovery. He argued that the West planned a three-stage offensive: first, the West would seek to convince Muslims that Islam is not a complete way of life but merely folklore; then Muslims would doubt their faith, before lastly, abandoning it.[3]

The seeds of the Saudi-Wahhabi radicalization on the global scale can be identified during the early 90's when the Ulama cautioned that the western "cultural attack" was a threat against the Muslim world in general and against the House of Saud, and the state of Saudi Arabia in particular. The House of Saud did not oppose this conception. The Saudis were even ready to accept some of the Ulama's demands, such as increased allocations for proselytizing overseas, so long as the Ulama did not violate certain red lines, including challenging the Saudi kingdom's military alliance with the United States. In the minds of the House of Saud, the war against the "cultural attack" was fine, as long as its prosecution would be conducted outside the kingdom and would not threaten the regime’s stability. Since the beginning of the 90’ the Saudi government incorporated of notions of "Western cultural attack" in its political religious actions and rhetoric internally but even more vigorously externally. The king the royal family and the government sharply increased their involvement, financial allocations, built and reorganized administrative and governmental systems to enhance the religious activities mainly abroad. The Saudi government also launched a number of initiatives to strengthen the Islamic identity of Muslim Diasporas within the Saudi perception and duties as the guardian of the two holy places responsible on Muslim minorities around the world. The king himself described the establishment of the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) as outreach to Muslims living in Europe.[4]

The influence of the Saudi "cultural attack" paradigm on Global Jihadi groups and Al Qaeda’s mode of operation was evident in the attempt to launch the counterattack from the enemy's soil, using the enemy's technology and members of the enemy's Muslim Diaspora. In the Saudi internal discourse on the "cultural attack" it was often argued that the Muslim world should harm the West in the same way the West harms the Muslim world—that is, by penetration and fragmentation of its cultural and social identity and forcing its inhabitants to question their values and beliefs to the point that they would collapse. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda adopted this conception and extended it, recruiting Muslims residing in the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, central Europe, north, east and West Africa, the Indian sub continent and Oceania to execute their grand terror operation.

The Global Spread of Wahhabism

Proselytizing is exceptionally important for Wahhabism and for the Saudi religious leadership. It is not simply enough for believers to be just in their own lives, they must also turn others away from deviancy. Because the religious elite are important for the regime’s legitimacy, the Al Saud felt compelled to appease them on this key issue.

The Saudi state and its Islamic establishment are actively involved in the fore front of spreading the radical Wahhabi message throughout the Muslim world and Muslim communities and minorities in the West. The Saudi charities, the Muslim World League (Rabitat al-’Alam al-Islami), the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY), the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO),the Saudi based Al Wafa charitable organization in Afghanistan, the Saudi committees for assistance to Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Chechnya, Palestine, and the World Association of Mosques are notorious for their support of radical and terrorist organizations throughout the world and for spreading texts that indoctrinate Muslims to be intolerant of non-Muslims.

The roots of the phenomena of Islamic radicalization in the West were planted by Saudi Arabia from the mid 90’s and cannot be regarded as a spontaneous local internal isolated development within Muslim communities in the west. The Saudi-Wahhabi exported doctrine has provided an active injection of ideology and the foundations for the development of the radicalization phenomenon. The Saudi-Wahhabi doctrine was actively, aggressively and intentionally disseminated on the global scale through Saudi Islamic institutions operating in the West. The Wahhabi religious teachings were a basis of reference for local preachers and Imams in the West operating within Muslim communities. The local radical Imams have no weight or any other source of legitimacy as sources of Islamic jurisprudence, unless the authoritative Saudi backs them up. Saudi publications and religious teachings were found in Islamic institutions in the USA[5], Britain[6], Germany[7], the Philippines[8] and other places, which served for Islamic studies curricula.

The Saudis have spent billions propagating Wahhabism abroad during the past three decades and the scale of financing is believed to have increased as oil prices have skyrocketed. The funding was channeled through Saudi based charities operating around the world to aid the construction and operating expenses of Islamic centers, mosques, madrassas, social and welfare projects, training schools for Imams and other religious institutions that preach Wahhabism. It also supports of mass media and publishing outlets, distribution of Wahhabi textbooks and other literature and endowments to western universities.[9] Wahhabi penetration of US mainstream Islamic institutions is substantial. A 2005 Freedom House Report examined over 200 books and other publications distributed in 15 prominent Saudi-funded American mosques. One such publication, bearing the imprint of the Saudi embassy and distributed by the King Fahd Mosque in Los Angeles, contained the following injunctions for Muslims living in America.[10]

According to Alex Alexiev, a former CIA consultant on ethnic and religious conflict, the Saudi funding program, is "the largest worldwide propaganda campaign ever mounted--dwarfing the Soviets' propaganda efforts at the height of the Cold War".[11]

The Saudi religious influence and inspiration to join Global Jihad

Islamic extremist philosophy

Saudi Prince Khaled al-Faysal, the governor of the ‘Asir region, admitted in an interview on Al-Arabiyya TV on July 14, 2004, that ideological extremism controls Saudi Arabia’s educational system.[12] This statement demonstrate the fact of the unchanged Saudi policy three years after the September 11 attacks in the USA and one year after the beginning of the counter radicalization campaign that was launched inside Saudi Arabia in 2003.

The Saudi Ulama (clerics) backed by the Saudi governments' policy, were the spearhead and source of inspiration and mobilization in exporting, promoting and safeguarding the Muslim Ummah (the borderless nation of Islam) around the world. Most of the Jihadi theorists came out from this religious establishment.[13] The aggressive promotion of Da'awa and Jihad concepts were an accelerating factor for the process of radicalization that was mainly oriented and targeted towards the younger generation in the Muslim world and the second and third generation of Muslim immigrants in the west. Additionally, they sought to convert young disaffected non-Muslims. The Muslim World League, the official umbrella organization of some of the most influential Saudi charities operating inside the kingdom and around the world, had, in 2004, posted an old religious edict issued by its Islamic jurisprudence committee dating back to 27 June 1983. This edict allowed and encouraged the use of Zakat(charitable) donations for Jihad, and Da’awa activities, noting that the use of funds for Jihad bil Mal (Jihad with money-economic Jihad) is needed to confront the western cultural attack on Muslims by the enemies of Allah, the atheists, the Jews and the Christians.[14] Another old religious edict from 17 October 1987 was posted on 29 November 2004 condoning the use of Zakat donations to be used for Jihad in Palestine.[15]

Sheikh Hammud al-'Uqla al-Shu'aybi, a former professor at Imam Muhammad bin Sa`ud University and disciple of Sheikh Bin Baz and Muhammad Ibrahim Al al-Sheikh, was the most prominent Saudi sheikh who supported al-Qaeda until his death on 18 January 2002. Bin Baz gave him permission to teach the core texts of the Wahhabi school, including the works of Ibn Kathir, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab. He supported the Taliban and the attacks on the U.S. on 9/11. Al-'Uqla issued a Fatwa calling for jihad in Afghanistan, condoned the 9/11 attacks and helped raise money for Bin Laden. He was also said to have issued general Fatwas that encouraged people to fight Jihad against Jews and Christians. On 25 April 2001 Sheikh al-'Uqla has issued a Fatwa sanctioning the suicide terrorism phenomena perpetrated in Palestine and Chechnya as a form of justified Jihad against the infidels.[16]

The Guantanamo detainees and the Jihad narrative

Analysis of several Guantnamo detainees’ statements as published by the Department of Defense [17] reflects the motivational role of the Saudi Ulama call to join Jihad even after the 9/11 attacks. Obeying this Fatwa was consistently listed as factors favoring the continued detention of various Guantanamo detainees. Documents regarding the Guantanamo detainee Said Ali Al Shihri mention the motivational role and influence of Saudi mufti Sheikh Hammud al-'Uqla al-Shu'aybi.[18]

According to a statement from Guantanamo detainee Fahd Salih Sulayman Al Jutayli, he had received a fatwa from Sheikh Hammud Al 'Uqla at the Imam Muhammad Bin Saud College in Burayda, Saudi Arabia. The fatwa called for participation in the conflicts in Kashmir, Pakistan or Chechnya. Al Jutayli’s travel was facilitated by Sheikh Al 'Uqla. Al Jutayli trained at Al Farouq in September 2001 and was a Mujahid with the Khallad Bin Attash group at Tora Bora in late 2001. [19] The detainee decided to do charity work abroad after hearing Sheikh Abdullah al-Jibrin speech at the Al-Rajhi mosque in Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Abdullah al-Jibrin a radical Saudi scholar, was a signatory on the 1992 "Memorandum of Advice"[20], issued Fatwa stating that Shiites were infidels and as such could be killed without a sin being committed. [21] Several other Saudi detainees, who were detained while crossing into Pakistan, said that a Fatwa issued by Sheikh al-Jibrin, inspired and encouraged them to fight alongside the Taliban.

Additional documents relating to another Guantanamo detainee, Juma Mohammed Abdul Latif Al Dosari, state that a Saudi Sheikh from Dammam in had offered to pay Dosari’s rent and would pay him 7-10,000 Saudi Riyals if he would travel to Bosnia to participate in the Jihad. An Al Qaeda operative was said to have claimed that the Sheikh might have supported the Al Wafa organization (a Saudi charity involved in terrorism, designated by the USA) during the conflict in Chechnya. The operative also said that the Sheikh was a supporter of the Mujahideen. Dosari said that he was asked to go to Afghanistan by his local Imam in Dammam to inspect mosques in Kabul. Dosari first travelled to Bahrain and obtained a Bahraini passport, and then travelled to Mashad, Iran to meet his travelling companion to Afghanistan, who had been referred to him by the Imam in Saudi Arabia.[22] Khalid Hassan Husayn Al Barakat from Mecca claimed that he was inspired to go to Afghanistan by sermons he heard in mosques.[23]

Guantanamo detainee Humud Dakhil Humud Sa’id Al Jad’an received Fatwas issued by two Saudi sheikhs, which called for people to help the Muslims who were being persecuted in Chechnya. He went to Chechnya in the fall of 1998, and later went to Afghanistan twice – 1999-2000, and 2000-2001, in accordance with Fatwas.[24]

Translation of Radical Ideology into action

A careful examination of some of the worst suicide bombings by the Hamas organization against the State of Israel also leads to Saudi Arabia. As of September 2003, Saudi clerics were featured prominently on Hamas websites as providing the religious justification for suicide bombings. Of 16 religious leaders cited by Hamas, Saudis are the largest national group backing these attacks. Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Saleh Al al-Sheikh, had condoned them: “The suicide bombings are permitted...the victims are considered to have died a martyr’s death.”[25]

A compilation of Saudi religious edicts published on Hamas’ web site in 2001 by three prominent Saudi religious authoritative scholars (Sheikh Hamud al 'Uqla al-Shu'aybi, Sheikh Hamed bin Abdullah Al 'Aali and Sheikh Suleiman Al 'Alwan), together with the Saudi national Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdullah Al Saif, the Chechen Mujahideen spiritual leader, issued their Islamic ruling and advise in sanctioning and the Islamic justifications of the suicide terrorism phenomenon.[26]

The Saudi radical influential doctrine was not confined only to the Middle East. In the wake of the Mumbai attack on 10th December 2008, the UN Security Council's al-Qaeda/Taliban Sanctions Committee (the "1267 Committee") took several actions related to the terrorist group Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LET). It listed four of its members of the terrorist group Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LET) for targeted sanctions, including asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. These individuals are Muhammad Sayeed a.k.a. Hafiz Muhammad Sayeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Muhammad Ashraf, and Mohmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq. It added a new alias for the group: Jama’t-ud-Da’wah (JUD), which is an LET front operation.[27] On 11th December 2008, Pakistan government closed 11 offices of Jama’t-ud-Da’wah, the Islamic charity that has been linked to the deadly attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai. The concrete violent confrontation with the Christians and the Jews, as manifested in the Mumbai attack, was carried out and materialized as a tool to counter the Western ideological attack conspiracy. The attack should be perceived within the larger context as a direct manifestation and translation into action items of the Saudi late grand Mufti Bin Baz’s ideology, which played as a major contributing factor to the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Lashkar’s global Jihad state of mind as a motivational and spiritual “engine”.

Jama’t-ud-Da’wah as a radical Sunni Islamic organization, led by Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed, the Amir of the Jama’t-ud-Da’wah (JUD), which is the “political” wing and the overt front organization of the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LET), influenced by the Wahhabi-Salafi doctrine spread ideology advocating armed Jihad, as well as virulent rhetoric condemning the United States, India, Israel, and other perceived enemies. Its ideology is highly inspired and influenced by the above mentioned Wahhabi-Salafi school of thought, the actual brand of purist Islam practiced and promoted by Saudi Arabia through its worldwide network of charities as a tool in promoting the Saudi-Wahhabi political and religious influence in the Sunni Muslim world.

Saudi finance to radical Islamic institutions, among them Jamaat-ud-Dawa, has heavily influenced the contents of the vast amount of literature that they had produced and distributed. Many of these institutions produce low-priced books, and recently began producing audiotapes, videocassettes and compact discs, and some even operate their own web sites. Local scholars outside of Saudi Arabia were influenced by the vision and understanding of Islam from Saudi Arabia. Additionally, their views were indelibly shaped by their own experiences in Saudi Arabia. They saw the Saudi Wahhabi version of Islam as normative and other forms of Islam as deviant. A principle purpose of these publications is to attack the west and rival Muslims, including Sunni groups, and to sternly condemn them as ‘aberrant’ on account of differences in their methods of performing rituals and their rules governing a range of issues related to normative personal and collective behavior. Another interesting feature of the literature that is directly linked to the close association with the Saudi Wahhabis is a fierce hostility to local beliefs and practices.[28]

Identifying themselves with the Saudi Wahhabi Ulama, enabled Jam’at-ud-Da’wah to present themselves as faithful allies of the Saudis, which in turn helps earn them recognition as well as monetary assistance from Saudi sponsors. In addition, such publications also serve the purpose of presenting the Saudi Wahhabi version of Islam as normative. Finally, it puts forward the claim of the Saudi regime to being the only one in the world sincerely and seriously committed to ‘genuine’ Islam. Despite the attempt of the Saudi government to blur the direct aid to jihad groups, there are from time to time reports in the inter-Arab and the international press that indicate that the Saudi based charities transfer funds for jihad causes in Kashmir and that Saudi leaders meet with the leaders of the jihad groups in the country, and they support the jihad activity of the Muslims in Kashmir including training jihad fighters.

The Saudi activities in this field do not happen in a vacuum, they exist as an integral part of the Saudi policy of exporting Wahhabism outside the borders of Saudi-Arabia while utilizing penetration routes into the Islamic communities that are in distress, especially conflict regions or disaster-stricken regions. In the Kashmir context, it should be noted that the Saudi policy with regard to the jihad arenas is identical. That is, the Saudis see the jihad arena in Kashmir equal to the other jihad arenas, such as: Chechnya, Bosnia, the Philippines and Palestine.

The Saudi Statements and Reality

According to the recent US GAO report, "the Saudi government has developed its own strategy to combat terrorism, which Saudi officials characterized as focusing on three areas or pillars: Men, Money, and Mindset”. The “mindset” pillar of the strategy focuses on preventing extremism by addressing the ideology that is used to recruit and indoctrinate potential terrorists. Saudi officials stated that the “mindset” pillar is the most challenging aspect of its counterterrorism strategy and will be a long-term challenge. Nonetheless, the GAO report states how "Saudi officials told us the Saudi government is committed to combating extremist ideology through programs such as public information campaigns and terrorist rehabilitation programs".[29] According to Saudi Ministry of Interior officials, Saudi authorities are monitoring Internet chat rooms that could be sources of militant recruitment. The Ministry of Interior called on all Saudis to be vigilant and urged them not to listen to those who promote corruption and sedition. In addition, the Ministry published the online usernames utilized by the suspects.[30]

Although the Saudi government has implemented a number of domestic activities designed to undermine extremist ideology within the Kingdom including a media campaign, monitoring religious leaders, monitoring school teachers, monitoring Internet sites, encouraging dialogue and rehabilitation programs. The most challenging aspect is the fact that the Wahhabi religious doctrinal foundation of extremism is intentionally overlooked and bypassed. contrast to the US report and the Saudi official statements, a close examination of the Saudi authorized official web sites and its inflammatory content will reveal a different reality which causes a great deal of concern in light of the contradicting facts between the Saudi statements and actions taken by the Saudi government on the mindset pillar.

The role of the Internet

The Internet has a role in the radicalization and in the deradicalization process but it is not the main driver of the process; the virtual dimension remains rooted in the real world.[31] Yet the Internet is a mirror and reflection of the external real world life and is regarded as a functional vehicle that transfers the "outside" into cyberspace with its virtual dimensions. One must remember that behind the phenomena of radicalization as well as deradicalization, there are real ideas and people acting. As such, the real fundamental change has to occur genuinely in the real world, led by policy makers and respectable religious establishments and not within cyberspace through sophisticated psychological warfare or even as a local moderate isolated web initiatives.

It is common knowledge that radical Islam and Al Qaeda’s terrorism relies on future recruits and sympathizers more than on any other factor. Terrorists do not often use the Internet for direct operational recruitment but rather to shape a committed radical Islamic mass virtual community from which individuals will be identified as potential candidates for recruitment. The use and abuse of the Internet for radical Islamic Da'awa, spreading hateful and inciting religious edicts and violent ideas is a cause of great concern and challenge for mainstream moderate Sunni Islam, Muslim and Arab governments, Western governments' law enforcement, and the intelligence community around the world. The fact that the Internet has become a popular apparatus for early stages of mobilization and recruitment places on our door footstep a huge and challenging phenomenon. Until recently, no real moderate main stream Islamic alternative was developed or introduced on the Internet. Moreover, the lack of a counter "Sahwa” (radical Islamic awakening), and lack of real world tangible alternative doctrines, caused web sites to be developed, designed to offer an attractive compatible alternative access to the “hearts and minds” of potential target audience as a real counter measure to radical Islamic brutal dominance on the Net. Any future steps or measures to fight the terrorists' use of the internet should involve a careful, interdisciplinary and professional examination of new alternatives shapes, contents, motives that can be adopted and revitalized from the vast monumental and respectable heritage of Islam.

Saudi Non-Jihadi Web Sites Promoting Extremism

The virtual Ummah of the Internet is the perfect place for the global Wahhabi doctrine to continue and remain the main source of inspiration of sheikhs whose followers run active and well-produced Salafi websites. Internet sites operated by Muslim scholars and organizations play an important role in the radicalization process in promoting the notion of Jihad and the need to counter the Western threat posed by the “Western ideological attack” encouraging participating in the global Jihad as the conversion of Christians. While policymakers have focused most attention in recent years on jihadi websites, the most widely viewed Islamic websites are not jihadi. Nonetheless, they often include the Wahhabi’s hateful depictions of the West. The strict Wahhabi scholars have legitimized the Internet—and launched their own personal websites. Clerics understand that the Internet is a crucial arena in the fight for the hearts and minds of the younger Muslim generation. Using the Internet for radical Islamic purposes was not only permitted by scholars, but also encouraged its use—even by strict Wahhabis. In Saudi Arabia, strict Internet filtering and firewall systems operated by the KSCAT governmental committee[32] turn a blind eye to extreme radical Islamic web sites. Although the Saudi government published a 2001 decree limiting illegal content on Saudi web sites,[33] its own official governmental Wahhabi Da'awa continued to disseminate its purist strict ideology.

There is some irony in the fact that the most vocal and popular proponents of efforts directed at the Islamization of the West and de-legitimization of its values, either operate from within its boundaries or are inspired by Arab regimes, mainly the Saudi which, officially preaches for multi-faith dialogue, engaging deradicalization efforts and is dependent on American support for its survival.

There are Saudi several Saudi government websites that continue to espouse extremist and incendiary statements. The website which is the official website of the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da‘awa and Guidance, is one such website.[34] The Saudi Ministry website presents 21 Hadiths, which discuss the day of resurrection and the obligation of Muslims to wage Jihad and the merits of martyrdom.[35] Although the website offers Hadiths on a variety of different subjects—not all referring specifically to the jihad—it is clear that these statements praise and encourage the jihad. For example:" I heard Allah's Apostle saying, The example of a Mujahid in Allah's Cause -- and Allah knows better who really strives in His Cause -- is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty".[36]

In addition to posting religiously incendiary material, the website of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da‘awa and Guidance has a link to the website of Sheikh Abd Al Aziz Bin Baz, the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia. Bin Baz was the chief sanctioned voice of the Saudi kingdom. Bin Baz himself has backed militant confrontations with the West. In his book "The Ideological Attack", he repeatedly claims that there is a Zionist and “Christian crusader” plot against Islam.

The English version of the website [37] features in “about us” section which claims that one of its purposes is keeping in touch with Muslims and non-Muslims through Sheikh Bin Baz’s approach in all parts of the world, to demonstrate the humanitarian aspect of the Islamic faith and address it to all mankind. That will only be possible by the reinforcement of the approach of tolerance and moderation called for by Sheikh Bin Baz during his life or via his books and lectures after his death. Yet, despite the message of “tolerance and moderation” in English, the parallel Arabic site of continues to post an article entitled, “What is meant by Jihad?,” wherein Bin Baz states:

“It was proven that the prophet -- peace and blessings of Allah be upon him -- collected the Jizya [skull tax] from the Magi of Hajr, so these three kinds of Kufar (Infidels), the Jews, Christians and the Magi, it was written that they should pay Jizya (obligatory skull taxation posed on non Muslims), It is a duty that Jihad should be waged against them and that they be fought when there is a capability until they convert to Islam or pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued, as for others ; it's a duty -- according to the scholars -- to fight them until they convert because the prophet -- peace and blessings of Allah be upon him -- fought the Arabs until they converted in multitudes to the religion of Allah and they were not asked to pay Jizya.[38]”

Similarly, in a section on the website called “Articles and Fatwas,” the following Bin Baz writing is posted: “Jihad in Allah's cause is among the best offerings, and the great obedience, indeed it is the best offering by the givers and what to competitors (to satisfy Allah) competed to do after the (religious) duties. That's only because it results in the victory of the believers, the lifting of the faith higher, the suppression of the infidels and the hypocrites and the facilitation of spreading Islam among people of the universe.”

One final example of Bin Baz’s views on Christians and Jews featured on the Arabic website comes from his article, “Warning Against the Schemes of the Enemies,” in which he states that Allah has foretold us about it in His glorious book when He said ‘Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can.’ The Almighty also said ‘Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion.

The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da‘awa and Guidance web site has a link to the website of the late Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Othaymeen[39] regarded as one of the top Salafi authorities, he died in 2000. His teachings and edicts are still venerated by fundamentalist Muslims in the Arab world and in Muslim communities in the West. users come from these countries: 39.4% Saudi Arabia, 14.8% Egypt, 9.7% Algeria, 5.8% Libya, 5.4% Kuwait, 0.6% France and Malaysia.[40]

Among several Islamic web portals involved in catalyzing radical ideology and conversion,, launched in August 1998, is the world's most popular Islamic website, and offers content mainly in Arabic and in English from the 'Asir region in southern Saudi Arabia. Its vast Fatwa (religious edict) bank suggests the Wahhabi school dominates it. [41] Another non-Jihadi web site is commemorating the late Saudi prominent Wahhabi radical mufti Sheikh Hammud al-'Uqla al-Shu'aybi.[42] The web site is currently registered and operating from Saudi Arabia, which still enables dissemination of Jihad ideas and strict Wahhabi doctrinal ideas and incitement. The posted materials include elements and topics which are clearly motivating factors towards intolerance and violent against Jews and Christians[43], sanctioning the permissibility of suicide attacks[44], encouraging Jihad in the Philippines by the local Muslim communities[45], assistance and fighting along side with "our brothers the Chechen Mujahideen".[46] Sheikh Hammud al-'Uqla al-Shu'aybi contributed to the Taliban extreme ideology by issuing rulings and Fatwas endorsing the Taliban government, calling other Muslim governments to follow and implement the Taliban style in their countries.[47]

The Saudi-Wahhabi oriented web portal,[48] which was launched in 5 October 2001 from Saudi Arabia, enjoys great popularity (more than 33% of entries are from Saudi Arabia) and the rest are from around the globe. Among other issues, the site dedicates sections for praising and promoting global Jihad ideology, Fatwas sanctioning suicide attacks[49], hatred against Christians and Jews, boycott Western products[50] and glorification of "Arab Martyrs" killed on Jihad fronts (Chechnya, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, and Eritrea) as assembled in an electronic book with special introduction by the Saudi Sheikh Salman Al 'Awda.[51] A special section with inciting posters[52] is dedicated to "Jihad of Muslims" which focuses in providing the Islamic-political justification regarding wage Jihad in Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya and Iraq.[53] Despite the Saudi deradicalization campaign, the above mentioned Saudi web portal continued posting materials on Sheikh Suleiman Bin Nasser Al- Alwan, radical Wahhabi cleric in Qassim province, teacher of at least one 9-11 hijacker, Abdul Aziz al Omari. Until his arrest by the Saudi security on 8 April 2008, Sheikh Al- Alwan published Islamic rulings justifying suicide attacks in Palestine and Chechnya and defending the legitimacy of suicide attacks against Jewish women, children and innocent civilians.[54] Contrary to the Saudi claims of countering the radical ideology, Sheikh Al- 'Alwan’s biographic chapters were continuously posted on web site (from 3 February 2003 until 9 April 2008 (one day after Sheikh Al 'Alwan was arrested).[55]

Another example of a non Jihadi web site is the Muslim World League Saudi governmental charitable organization that publishes on its official website a monthly series of publications called “Da’awat Al-Haqq” (The call for justice)[56]. The earliest publication on the website is from November 1980 and the latest – as of October 2009 – is from May 2008[57].The MWL monthly publications deal with a variety of issues, and are not limited to subjects of welfare. Amongst the publications of the MWL, one can find books regarding the state of Islam in various continents, reference to the importance of Jihad and Da’awa, discussions on the struggle of the Muslim minorities in various places in Islam etc. Furthermore, one of the authors of these publications is identified as a MWL board member; others include Islamic university graduates from Saudi Arabia, former military men, religious clerics and other Muslim authors.

In the book "Jihad in Islam – its Degrees and Demands"[58] the author portrays as a hero whoever goes out to battle “while smiling and happy to meet the enemy”, and adds: “and even when you see him in the battlefield and smell the heaven that awaits him if he will be killed as a Shahid”, and in another place mentions the joy that accompanies a martyr’s death". The book deals with the issue of the "Western Ideological Attack", according to the statement delineated by Sheikh Bin Baz. According to him, it is a crucial war, a war for life and death between Islam and its enemies: Zionism, Christianity and Communism. He emphasizes the duty to fight this enemy and clarifies that it is a defensive war on Islam’s land. Its worth mentioning in this regard citations brought by the author from the teachings of Sayyid Qutb – the Egyptian extreme ideologist whose writings were also published in Saudi Arabia by his brother, the Al Medina university professor Muhammad Qutb. One can clearly identify that despite the MWL’s proclamation that it deals in humanitarian issues and discussed providing aid to Muslims around the world. The publication deals with the subject of Jihad and the use of violence and encourages its readers to act against the enemies of Islam: the Zionists, the Crusaders and the Communists.

Another book posted on the MWL web site, titled "Means of Combating the Ideological Invasion" [59] presents research meant to aid the Muslims in protecting their religion, amongst other ways, by use of Jihad. The author presents the western ideological invasion as arriving from three sources: Imperialism, Zionism and Communism. The author surveys the history of the ideological invasion, its various aspects, its dangers and the ways to deal with it. The preface to the book was written by the MWL Secretary General at the time (1976-1983), Muhammad ‘Ali Al-Harkan. The Secretary General stresses the fact the organization operates within the arena of “the battle against the ideological invasion”, and it supports Jihad against the external enemies of Islam. The book constitutes proof to the fact that the MWL operates in many fields beyond its declared scope of operation as a humanitarian organization. The MWL regards the threats of the ideological invasion on Islam or the Muslims as described in this book as a global strategic issue that has to be addressed by the organization and its supports to take action and perform Jihad.

“The Road to Victory”[60] is another book posted on the MWL web site, a fundamentalist book, mainly calling for the return to the sources of the Muslim faith and for the abandoning of the pursuit of Western values. The author contends that the Muslims have shaken off the imperialist political yoke, but it still continues to control them, because they continue to apply its lesser values and abandon the true Islamic faith. The book includes a sub-chapter, relating to the obligation of Jihad, which the writer perceives to be part of the faith, as well as a call for the utilization of the Muslim Sharia'.

Sheikh Abdullah al-Jibrin’s web site is located in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. The late radical Saudi scholar, was a signatory on the 1992 "Memorandum of Advice"[61], issued Fatwa stating that Shiites were infidels and as such could be killed without a sin being committed. [62] Several Saudis detained while crossing the border into Pakistan, now held at Guantanamo, noted that Fatwas issued by Sheikh al-Jibrin after the year 2000 had inspired and encouraged them to fight alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan. Sheikh al-Jibrin was co-opted into the General Presidency of the Promotion of Virtues and the Prevention of Vice, a formal official governmental institution.[63] Although Sheikh al-Jibrin died in 2009, his radical rulings and doctrinal ideas are still posted and glorified in his memorial web site which continues to operate despite the Saudi proclaimed de-radicalization campaign. Users who access the web site are identified: 47.6% from Saudi Arabia, 11.1% Egypt, 9.1% from Algeria, 8.2% Iraq, and 4.2% from the United Arab Emirates.[64]

The Wahhabi oriented website "Al-Minbar" - "Direct from Mecca" - was founded by Wajdi Al-Ghazzaawi, who is also the website's executive director.[65] According to Al-Ghazzawi, "Alminbar (The pulpit) is a site for every Muslim who seeks knowledge and more specifically for every Imam looking to improve his speech and enhance the knowledge level of his congregation."[66] was created on July 13, 1999, registered to Wajdi Alghazzawi and constitutes Arabic and English sections.[67] All phone numbers and other contact information provided by Wajdi Alghazzawi as listed on are Saudi-based. According to Al-Minbar's introduction page, Al-Ghazzaawi created the website in an attempt to provide Imams with the educational support they need, similar to the support other professionals have in their fields. The website contains thousands of written and audio sermons delivered by prominent Saudi Sheikhs. Al-Minbar states that the website is visited by about three thousand Imams on a weekly basis, representing sixty two countries and territories. In the English section one finds hatred oriented sermons delivered by Saudi Ulama against the Christians the Jews and advocating Jihad as a form of justified struggle.

Another interesting example that characterizes the nature of Saudi Da’awa activists is Sheikh Abdullah Qadri Al-Ahdal’s web site. Al-Ahdal is a senior Saudi Da’awa scholar, is part the established Saudi Ulama which maintains his real world ongoing propagation and activities of radical Wahhabi doctrine intertwined with his personal web site, established in May 2002, utilizing the cyberspace as a vehicle to disseminate his ideas and promote his ties inside Saudi-Arabia and in conflict zones around the world which he previously visited as part of his role of exporting Da’awa.[68]

Al-Ahdal is not a Jihadi disconnected scholar and his web site does not fit into the Jihadi web sites criteria, as he represents the Saudi main stream ideologies. Nonetheless, his web site is identified to be linked to 173 web sites several of them are known as Jihadi web sites.[69] His inflammatory teachings and activities as presented on his web site can be definitely be regarded as a religious source of inspiration for radicalization on the path to terrorism. Al-Ahdal’s case is especially interesting, his teachings and statements regarding the linkage between Da’awa and Jihad, his ties to Muslim World League and other Saudi official establishments. His travels and meetings include time with Islamic Da’awa and Jihad activists as well as leaders of terrorist organizations in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Al-Ahdal received his Ph.D. from the Sharia Department in the Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh in 1981. He was appointed by Sheikh Abd al-Aziz Bin Abdullah Bin Baz as a social supervisor at the Islamic University in Medina. He studied with Sheikh Abd al-Aziz Bin Abdullah Bin Baz in the mosque named after the Prophet. Al-Ahdal published several books, including: “Jihad for Allah – Essence and Purpose”, “The Influence of Islamic Education on the Security of the Islamic Society”, “Preaching Islam in Europe”, “Conversations with Muslims in Europe”, “Conversations with Non-Muslim Europeans”, “Heresy in Islam and the Danger it poses the World of Islam”.

Al-Ahdal was not just an academic who wrote about and studied the foundations of Da’awa and jihad; he has traveled on Da’awa journeys, especially in Southeast Asia: the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan and India. His writing, research and journeys gave him a reputation as a world-renowned expert on the activity of Da’awa and Jihadi elements in Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines and Indonesia. His posted web writings indicate that the MWL and IIRO maintained ties with him and consulted him before they have formulated their regional policy, as did the field activists in these places, including the Mujaheedin.

In his web posted memoirs, Al-Ahdal recounts his trip to the Philippines in 1989 where he met Muhammad Jamal Khalifa (Saudi national, brother-in-law of Bin Laden, founder of the IIRO in the Philippines, involved as a leading figure in promoting and facilitating radical teaching and Jihad activities with connections to Abu Sayyaf terror organization), and his men who arranged meetings with various Islamic elements and associations in the Philippines, including some that were involved in Jihad activists.[70] Al-Ahdal learned about the Philippine Muslim’s struggle against the authorities through his interactions with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which is designated as a terror organization. He noted that the Muslims’ decision to undertake Jihad was reached together with a member of MWL’s Founding Council while noting that the Islamic activists underwent Jihad training in Malaysia.

Al-Ahdal recounted that during his stay in the Philippines he spent one of his nights with Jihad activists in the Philippines. He recommended to the MWL to send representatives to examine the situation in the field before making decisions to provide support. Al-Ahdal also recounted a journey he took to the southern Philippines together with Jamal Khalifa, director of IIRO’s office in the Philippines. During the journey, they also met the director of a local IIRO branch in Marawi and the leader of MILF, in which Jamal Khalifa was also present. [71]

Al-Ahdal devotes part of his website to the discussion of Da’awa, propagating and sanctioning jihad as the main option of action for Muslims around the world. He promotes a militant approach espousing the need for jihad as a solution for the Muslim minorities suffering under non Islamic states. He details the situation in the various jihad arenas and lists the tools Muslims should adopt, in his opinion, to face the threat of attack by the crusaders and the Jews. Al-Ahdal’s essay on jihad is far more reaching than just describing the subject in broad terms. It is very detailed and it contains operational principles based on the writings of radical theoreticians such as Sayid Al Qutb, who saw jihad as a central means for achieving the goals of Islam. Al-Ahdal’s writings have dealt with various issues relating to jihad and support of the Jihadi effort. He has argued that Muslims who promote Da’awa should create deterrence in face of the enemies of Islam by training jihad fighters. Al-Ahdal details the methods of training and the fields the Islamic nation should enter in its struggle against the enemies of Islam. [72]

According to Al-Ahdal, Muslims must always be prepared for jihad because their heretic enemies – the Communists, the Jews, the Christians and others – do not rest and keep preparing for war against the Muslims. Al-Ahdal claims that if Muslims would continue training for jihad and use every possible means of preparation, they would have not reached the level of humiliation they have reached up until this point. If they could prepare a well-trained jihad group based on faith and obedience to Allah and his prophet, they would be able to scare the enemies of Allah everywhere and subject them to Allah’s rule. Al-Ahdal claims money and jihad are elements that need each other. He encourages donation of money for directing the jihad campaign against the enemy. In his opinion, the support of a jihad activists’ family is part of the support of the mujahidin. He notes that the money is necessary for spreading Da’awa and maintaining jihad readiness. According to Al-Ahdal, spreading Da’awa is not possible without funding. Al-Ahdal quotes Sayyid Qutb as saying that “jihad needs money the same way it needs people”.

Another example of a non-Jihadi web site is the Saudi state sponsored Islamic Al Medina university web site which has posted the past propagation journey of Sheikh Ali Musharraf Al-Umari, a Saudi scholar to Pakistan. Sheikh Ali Musharraf Al-Omari was commissioned in December 1992 by Sheikh Abd Al-Aziz Bin Baz, then-the Deputy President of the Islamic University in Al-Medina to teach at the Salafi University in Lyalpur, Pakistan in accordance with an order issued by the Saudi King Faisal Bin Abd Al-Aziz.[73] The Saudi Wahhabi penetration was so effective that the Salafi University adopted the Islamic University in Al-Medina’s educational curricula. In Laylpur, Sheikh Al Omari had met the President of the Salafi University, the General Secretary of the Central Ahl-I-Hadith Association in Pakistan, Sheikh Miyan Fadl Al-Haqq, and members of the association in Lyalpur, who highly praised Saudi-Arabia, King Faisal, the Islamic University in Al-Medina and Sheikh Bin Baz.

As a contrast to the Saudi Ministry of Interior official claim that the Saudi authorities are monitoring Internet’s potential as a source of militant recruitment and despite the proclaimed de –radicalization efforts declared by the Saudis, Sheikh Al Omari's travel journal was still published on the Islamic University in Al-Medina’s website during 2007- 2008. In this journal he describes his meetings with the Ahl-I-Hadith[74] religious scholars and the General Secretary of Ahl-I-Hadith in Laylpur, who supported the Salafi University. Ahl-I-Hadith is known to be one of the most puritanical strains of South Asian Islam, closely linked with Wahhabism of the Arabian Peninsula.

Al Omari‘s travel journal demonstrates the strong educational and ideological ties between the official Saudi establishment and an overseas Pakistani Islamic organization—Ahl-I-Hadith—which is a designated terror organization.[75] It also indicates the effective Saudi Wahhabi penetration of educational institutions in Pakistan, including the Salafi University supported by Ahl-I-Hadith.

In July 2006, the London based Al-Hejaz Journal published an article on its website regarding the turning of the city of Al-Medina into a “factory for radicalism”. The article reveals that the Islamic University in Al-Medina’s true face, by calling it "one of the focal points that helped turn Al-Medina from a city of moderate religious wisdom into a city of radical thought".[76]

The Saudi initiative to launch a counter radicalization campaign

Until the regime was under a direct threat, it had avoided taking steps that would offend the public, instead preferring to co-opt dissent. Thus, even as it suppressed religious dissidents it has tried to co-opt their issues, in part, by supporting Islamic causes abroad, backing Muslim charities, and otherwise displaying its religious authenticity. It was particularly difficult for the Al Saud to back any initiatives supported by the U.S. government, including those related to counterterrorism.

The Saudi concerns regarding radical Islamic ideas and violence started only after the Al-Qaeda attacks in the kingdom in May 2003. These attacks caused a wave of reaction and a fundamental public debate in the official and opposition Saudi press, as well as between the religious establishment and the supporters of liberalism reforms. The debate dealt with the role played by the Saudi religious Wahhabi ideology and doctrinal practices, culture, and the academic curriculum in producing violence and terrorism. As expected, the Saudi religious establishment emphasized that there is no connection between terrorist attacks and “true” Islam and that the religious teachings and academic curriculum should in no way be blamed. The religious establishment rolled the ball into the court of the Americans, who they claim caused the import of terrorism into Saudi Arabia.

In an article on the Saudi opposition website about the Saudi government’s role in support of global terror, the writer challenges the Saudi official position that the roots of extremism and terror are a product of external organizations operating abroad. The writer blames the Saudi government and states that it is they who “deceive our youth and turned them into what they are today…the Saudi government, is interested in playing a double game: on one side to keep the faith of the west and on the other side to support radical religious sect".[77]

In the wake of continual American and international pressure, Saudi Arabia engaged in an extensive campaign to combat radicalization also through the Internet that began in 2003. In 2004, it was published that a number of non-Saudi religious scholars set up a web site under the name Sakeenah [78](‘tranquility’ or 'inner peace'), to fight terrorism on an ideological level, offering open debates and answering questions. The “Al Sakeenah Campaign”, as declared by the Saudis, was aimed to fight online radicalization and recruitment, operating as an independent, non-governmental organization, supported by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Interior. [79] As declared, the campaign was not an official direct state operation but rather an intention to use Islamic scholars to interact online (or by phone according to Al Sakeenah web site reports) with individuals looking for religious knowledge, with the aim of steering them away from extremist sources. The campaign’s label, containing the sub text of the “inner peace”, immediately points out to the nature of its objectives, which are focused on the domestic stability of the Saudi kingdom without abandoning the Wahhabi-Salafi Jihadi radical ideology and doctrinal tenants, or any rectification of the Saudi approach regarding the means to fight the threats posed by “Western cultural attack” to the Islamic nation (Ummah) on the global scale.

Abd Al-Mun'im Al-Mushawwah, who initiated the campaign and also serves as its director, discussed in an interview to the Saudi daily Al-Madina that: "The whole thing began about 13 months ago, when terror events erupted, and we saw people - whom we considered good people - turning into self-detonating dynamite. We saw... dangerous violence and views that are opposed to... the Sunna and the views of the Muslim community. We saw mistaken concepts used in order to tempt well-intentioned youths lacking in religious and jurisprudent knowledge"[80]

Abd Al-Mun'im Al-Mushawwah continued stating that :"The initiative was to launch a direct dialogue over the Internet with (members) of the (young) generation, since (members of) the (old) generation, such as (senior Al-Qaeda leaders) Yousef Al-'Ayyiri, Abd Al-Aziz Al-Muqrin, and Fares bin Shawil Al-Zahrani did not agree to (participate in) dialogue, and (had chosen) violence and terrorism as their path. The aim was to conduct dialogue with those who had expressed solidarity with the operations of violence and terror, but had not participated in them, in order to prevent them from doing so - because those who express solidarity (with the terrorists) are likely in the future to turn into assistants and perpetrators, and this is the most dangerous thing.[81]

Al-Mushawwah notes in the interview that the positive deradicalization activity results were presented to the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Saleh Al-Sheikh, who always recommended dialogue, and stressed that "we must adopt the path of wasatiyya (middle path) and common sense with those to whom we are speaking. (When) he saw the results we had achieved, (he) supported us materially and morally, and began monitoring (our activity) and defining the policy and activity of the campaign".[82]

To bypass the lack of a younger generation of Ulama that can pose a counter balance to the young radical Jihadi Ulama mentioned above, the Sakeenah campaign restored to the old Ulama Fatwas as posted on its web site. The Sakeenah ideological campaign used Ulama and propagators that were employed by the Ministry of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs. Others were employed in separate government ministries or branches that were in adherence with, represented and maintained the same traditional purist and radical Wahhabi doctrine. The declared wasatiyya (middle path), represents an unchanged situation within the religious content, using the "old guard" Ulama and the institutionalized old Fatwas as sources of legitimacy and avoiding any process of doctrinal reformation or ideological renewal, focusing mainly on the easier way which was emphasized by the moral material and approach (psychological and sociological aspects) that money can buy.

Al Sakeenah Campaign Web Site

The website of the Saudi counter radicalization program, the "Al Sakeenah campaign", contains a total of 56 Islamic edicts, attributed to four prominent Saudi Ulamas, Sheik Fawzan, the late Saudi grand Mufti Sheikh Bin Baz, the late Sheikh Al-Othaymeen and the current Saudi minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Abd Al Aziz Al Sheikh. The purpose of the Fatwas is first and foremost to prevent any type of non-compliance with the Saudi regime, to provide religious justifications as to why it is prohibited to rebel against its ruler, to demonstrate against him and even to criticize him publicly and to oblige Saudis to unite under his leadership. Furthermore, the Fatwas provide religious Islamic legitimacy to the Saudi Royal house and a "rubber stamp" of approval from the Saudi religious establishment. The Fatwas lay the Islamic foundations for total compliance (Baya'a) of Saudi Muslim citizens to the royal family and the Saudi Islamic state governed by Sharia. The Fatwas also emphasize the doctrinal Saudi-Wahhabi conduct to prevent adherence of the Saudi youth to any other Islamic religious schools which oppose the legitimacy of the Saudi establishment.

While the Saudi religious establishment cannot ignore the concept of jihad as a religious duty, the violence and terrorist attacks within Saudi Arabia have compelled the religious establishment to curb jihadi ideas and initiatives, and restore the religious monopoly of jihad to the state. The Jihad phenomena in Saudi Arabia turned into a two-edged sword that threatened the internal stability of the Saudi regime. The Jihadi phenomena had to be contained and monopolized by the state in the same fashion used by the historic Islamic Caliphates. The Saudi regime could not reject or abandon the Jihad religious concept and therefore it needed to control it as a measure to decrease internal violent Jihadi groups.

Part of the Fatwas posted on the website call to restrain Jihad and can be depicted as moderate, as they forbid suicide bombings. However, they definitely do not forbid the killing of the infidels as a moral universal value but rather provide a practical utilitarian reasoning. It is argued that suicide attacks and killings may eventually "turn against the Muslims themselves who are exposed to the Western counter measures as conducted by its security mechanisms".[83] The Fatwas do not contain any condemnation or prohibition of the killing of non-Muslims or any other innocent human beings as a universal commandment, nor do they reject the concept that whoever is not Muslim- is a heretic and seen as an enemy, and as such they should be fought against. Some of the Fatwas refer to the condition to wage Jihad, stating that Jihad should be declared and waged only if the Muslims are sure they can overcome the infidels, only then can Jihad be carried out.[84]

Some Fatwas appropriate the Saudi religious establishment and the regime with the monopoly over accusing other Muslims of heresy and polytheism (Shirk), going so far as to forbid any other groups or individuals from engaging in such activity. The prevalent heresy declarations by opposing groups and individuals against the Saudi regime, turned out to be powerful radical Muslim justification against the kingdom itself and its internal legitimacy and stability

An analysis of the "Al Sakeenah" web site reveals several facts and raises several questions:

1. The majority of religious Islamic edicts (Fatwas) posted on the web site are relate to condemnation of terrorism, insurgency, violence and public disobedience against the existing Saudi Islamic ruling authority, namely in Saudi Arabia to strengthen and justify citizenry compliance and obedience to the existing political and religious system. Most of the posted Fatwas ignore and avoid dealing with topics and themes promoted by the Saudi Global Jihad ideological doctrine on the international scale.

2. The posted materials reflect the Saudi concern of their internal stability and security, avoiding elements and religious interpretations which are the global Jihad motivational factor in the radicalization process. No transformation in the concept of Jihad, the threats concept as posed by the “Western cultural attack” on Muslim minorities in the world, the Jihad bi-el Mal concept (Jihad with money-the economic Jihad), the concept of the Islamic borderless Ummah, the Islamic duty to assist oppressed and deprived Muslims around the world by joining Jihad to fight for their legitimate rights as Muslims, the concept of the Wala’ Wa Al Barra’-(loyalty and disavowal) and more. These are only some examples of concepts which were and still are promoted by Saudi established Ulama, the Saudi royal family, the princes, the government and the official Saudi policy makers for many years. The Sakeenah campaign ignores them, a fact which seems to be not a coincidence.

3. The web site does not contain any interactive online dialog or a forum section, as it was initially presented. The relevant section dedicated for that, contains only ten old undated questions and answers, which suspiciously tend to reflect an artificial dialog, as if the answers were posted before questions were even asked.

4. The web site has very tendentious focused materials, which reflect the Saudi need to demonstrate action to the growing international criticism and pressure, demonstrating as if they had fulfilled their obligation and efforts to confront the phenomenon and actions taken within their de radicalization efforts.

5. Measurement of users who visit during the period between March-August 2009, reveal a negligible number access to the web site (between 0.00002% to 0.000044%) a proof to its irrelevancy and lack of attractiveness compared to number of entries to other Saudi official web sites such as Dar Al Ifta’ web site (will be presented later on in the article) in the same period.[85]

6. The percent of global Internet users visited Dar Al Ifta' web site during the same period of time was 0.00017% to 0.00016% (March-August 2009). Users accessed Dar Al Ifta’ com. from these countries: 41% from Saudi Arabia, 30.7% from other countries(no data), 11% from the United Arab Emirates, 9.3% from Kuwait, 7.5%from Indonesia.[86] Another popular Saudi-Wahhabi oriented web site; still enjoys a very high popularity according to the number of visits. The average percent of global Internet users who visited is from 0.0421% to 0.0403% per month (March-August 2009). users come from these countries: 25.3% from Egypt, 22.0% from Saudi Arabia, 10.9% from Algeria, 4.5% from Libya, 4.0% from Sudan. A large number of visits are identified as accessed from western countries non-Arab/Islamic states (France, Germany, Japan, Britain and USA).[87] One can conclude that Saudi-Wahhabi oriented is significantly more attractive than Dar Al Ifta’ web site and both of them are much more visited and popular (probably due to their attractive unchanged radical ideology Wahhabi content) compared to the dull Al Sakeenah web site.

7. As it was established long ago, the radical ideologies were and still are promoted, exported and sponsored by the Saudi centralized regime. The major questions to be asked are why the Saudi government does not herald the campaign as its owned direct initiative? Why the Saudi government, which traditionally does not allow any private initiatives regarding delicate and sensitive religious issues, is ready to “abandon” its exclusivity on religious core issues to external unofficial initiatives and involvement? Is this precedent a genuine tectonic fundamental change or merely a posture?

8. The Fatwa section in Al Sakeenah contains "cut and past" old religious edicts which do not contain any new updated contemporary Fatwas issued by young attractive charismatic clerics who are willing to stand up and deal directly with the rejection, condemnation and prohibition of the phenomena of radicalism, violence and terrorism outside Saudi Arabia. Is Al Sakeenah campaign a genuine process of reform or perfunctorily effort, a make-believe campaign in light of the international pressure with no real intention for religious institutional reforms?

The religious scholars of the “Al Sakeenah” campaign

As identified, the Saudi domestic concentrated approach is far away from a comprehensive campaign to counter the radicalization phenomena. As long as its unchanged, motivational ideological factors remain intact and it will continue to promote the traditional ideological foundations for recruitment to the global Jihad groups around the world that are still embraced by the Saudi extreme religious sources and the state’s resources.[88]

One would have been expected to find that Saudi Ulama Fatwas, which are known for their moderation, reconciliation approach, liberal thoughts, respect for all mankind, and the equality of gender in religion, are a source of inspiration for counter radicalization. Except of only one general Fatwa related to the current grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abd al- Aziz bin Abdullah Muhammad Al Sheikh (in his formal position as minister) that may hint to the direction of moderation, it doesn’t specifically call for such moderation. Other sheikhs included in the campaign web site identified as part of the Saudi establishment demonstrate the fact that nothing has been changed regarding the extremist and radical inspirational sources of the Saudi proclaimed campaign for de- radicalization:

· Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan

Was included in a list of nominations by a royal decree (number 1/137) that was issued on 8/7/1391 Hejra (29/8/1971), which authorized the establishment of the Council of Higher Ulama, and declared him as a member the Saudi official permanent council of "The Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts" (Dar Al-Ifta’)[89], affiliated to the Saudi official Council of Senior Islamic Scholars headed by the Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh-the minister of Islamic Affairs Da’awa and Guidance in the Saudi government. Sheikh Fawzan is a purist Wahhabi scholar that issued Fatwas (14 September 2008) calling for the owners of Arab television channels that broadcast shows promoting magic, debauchery and vice to be tried in court and face the death penalty.[90] Already, back in 2004, he achieved some notoriety when he confirmed that slavery is a part of Islam. In July 2007 al-Fawzan issued a Fatwa saying that Muslim liberals and secularists were apostates who should be killed for abandoning Islam: “Calling oneself a liberal Muslim is a contradiction in terms… one should repent before God for such ideas in order to be a real Muslim… He who wants freedom with only the controls of man-made law has rebelled against the law of God.”

In his book, Rulings pertaining to Muslim Women al-Fawzan tells readers that the West is using women to undermine Islam: “The enemies of Islam [sic] and the hypocrites seek to make the woman an instrument of destruction; a snare by which they can entrap those who are weak in their Iman (faith) and those who have bodily desires in order that they satisfy their desperate lusts… For this reason, they have tried hard to remove the woman from her home to join the men in the workplace, side by side, or to serve men in hospitals, as hostesses on planes, as teachers or students in mixed classrooms, as actresses in theatres, singers, as presenters in various forms of media, spreading Fitnah (strife) with her voice and appearance.”[91]

Sheikh Fawzan also published a book titled Al Wala’ Wal Bara’ (loyalty and disavowal) which its main doctrinal Whahhabi principles are that Muslims should be loyal and faithful only to God and Shari’a in every possible way (Tawhid-the unity of God) while disavowing all forms of polytheism (shirk) and its adherents. Polytheism is not just the worship of multiple gods, but also the adherence to non-Islamic laws and obedience to infidel leaders and governments. Adherence to man-made laws or obedience to worldly rulers effectively amounts to worshipping other gods. Is Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan the enlightenment figure and source for deradicalization?

On 15 January 2003 the Al-Hijaz Arabic newspaper published an article criticizing Sheikh Fawzan and the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs. “A book published by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs Da’awa and Guidance titled “Loyalty and Innocence in Islam” (Al-Walaa Wa-Al-Baraa Fi Al-Islam) rouses the reader’s stupefaction and wonder, especially in view of the fact it (the book) was published by the Ministry towards whom many accusations are brought, and it provides further proof that the Ministry (of Islamic Affairs) is adopting radical ideas encouraging its students to take up violence towards others with different beliefs. Sheikh Salih Bin Fawzan book titled “Loyalty and Innocence in Islam” is part of the sedition books written by the author. His book, “The Uniqueness of God” (Tawhid or Monotheism or Unity of Allah) was an example that greatly hurt the reputation of the Saudi government and depicted all of Islam as if it is not a religion of tolerance and freedom of belief. In this book Sheikh Al-Fawzan establishes the belief that includes all the people of the world in the list of heretics and leaves only part of them, the “Ahal Al-Sunna and Al-Jama'a”, that is -the supporters of Muhammad Bin Abd-Al-Wahhab, as the only group saved who must fix the world and guide the people of the world in the righteous path”.

- The late Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Othaymeen

Taught Islamic Principles (usul) in the Faculty of Religious Law at Imam Muhammad ibn Sa‘ud University, and served as a member of the Hay’at Kibar al-‘Ulama[92] (the Saudi Council for Senior Clergy), and as prayer-leader and preacher in the Grand Mosque in Unayza. Sheikh Othaymeen name was included in a list of nominations by a royal decree number 1/137 that was issued on 8/7/1391 Hejra (29/8/1971) authorizing the establishment of the Council of Higher Ulama and as a member of “The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fatwa”.[93] Born in 1928, he studied under several important teachers, including ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz. He was a prolific author of Fatwas, and published some fifty compilations of them. Widely regarded as one of the top Salafi authorities, he died in 2000. His teachings and edicts are still venerated by fundamentalist Muslims in the Arab world and in Muslim communities in the West. He maintained close contacts with Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al-Seif, head of the Chechen "Shari'ah courts" and the Mufti of Arab fighters' spiritual leader.[94]

-The Late grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Bin Baz

Was a prominent leading figure in the global radicalization process on the international scale within Muslim communities around the world. Bin Baz teachings were published and still can be found around the world and some of them were translated into several western languages, both printed copies and digitally. Their translation and distribution were an integral part of the Saudi system for spreading radical Wahhabi Islam around the world through the Saudi agents of influence (Islamic centers, Saudi embassies, charities, Saudi donations, schools, universities, political Muslim organizations, violent groups and more). The means for distribution of the Wahhabi doctrine included Saudi worldwide operating charities, the Internet, video and audiotapes and books. The concept of Jihad plays an important role in Bin Baz’s scholarship. He dealt with defining Jihad, the types of Jihad and in what circumstances Jihad should be used. Bin Baz dedicated a special emphasis on Jihad against the infidels. Bin Baz perceived Jihad as a continuation of the Da’awa efforts. According to Bin Baz, Islam spread through the Da’awa and was supported by the sword. In places where the efforts of Da’awa have failed, then the sword should be used. In Bin Baz’s opinion, the greatest Jihad is with one’s life, after that with money and after that Jihad with Da’awa and guidance. According to Bin Baz, Da’awa is also a type of Jihad.[95]

When Bin Baz was asked: “is protection of the country, land and honor considered Jihad?” Bin Baz issued a religious edict that discussed the protection of Muslim territory, family, honor, religion and that standing at the fighting front is considered a form of Jihad and will reward the Muslim with the title of “Shahid” (Martyr) and entrance to paradise. Bin Baz stressed to the fighters in the front that they must fear Allah, purify their intentions, pray with the group five times a day, mention Allah’s name often, strive for unity and be patient in order to receive tranquility and beware of disobedience to Allah. For this, he quotes verses 45-46 in the “grants from the spoils chapter” in the Qur’an.[96]

In his book “The Ideological Attack”, (published in 1998 shortly before his death) Bin Baz again expressed his views in a very hostile manner towards the Jews and the Christians. He contended that the Muslim world was exposed to a barbaric attack on the part of the Christians, the Jews, the Communists, the atheists, the secularists and others. With regard to the Christians, Bin Baz stated that: "The Christian crusaders' attack today is most violent…. Muslims whose brains have not been corrupted, cannot tolerate the fact that the heretics are coercing…therefore, such a Muslim tries with all his might to banish them – even if he has to sacrifice his life." With regard to the Jews, Bin Baz said: "The Jews' plot after taking over the Muslims' lands is to take over other lands. They have realized some of their plans and are continuing to try and materialize the rest".[97]

Sheikh Bin Baz defines the “Ideological Attack” as “a set of efforts, undertaken by a particular nation, in order to conquer or influence another nation, such that [the attack nation] is steered in a particular course of direction because of it”. Bin Baz claims that Muslims are under an “ideological attack” from three main sources: the attack of the Christian, the Zionist attack and the communist atheistic attack. Of the three, Bin Baz points to the Christian attack as the most threatening to Islam. He explains that an “ideological attack” is more severe than military warfare because the attacked is unprepared to counter it. The attack comes in the form of school curriculums, general education, media, etc. Bin Baz lays the authority in the hands of the leaders of the Muslims, both religious and political, to explain to their population “what they have fallen into” and to lead the counter-attack measures. Bin Baz determines that a crucial factor in halting the attack is to guide the society to truly comprehend the realities of Islam, which can by achieved by correct Islamic guidance in the home and in educational institutions, in addition to the call for Da’awa.

Even though Bin Baz attributes importance to all types of Jihad, he especially emphasized the Jihad against the infidels, with both one’s life and through money. In a manuscript published by the Saudi National Guard in 1973 titled “the Jews stance towards Islam and the merit of Jihad and Mujaheedin”, Bin Baz claimed that Jihad for Allah (in the fighting sense) is considered the most preferable amongst good deeds and commandments. According to Bin Baz, Jihad is divided into two: offensive and defensive Jihad. Its goals are to bring victory to Muslims, uplift Islam, subdue the hypocritical heretics, calling on people to return to Islam, facilitate the spread of Da’awa, raising the horn of Allah etc’. Bin Baz brought examples from the Qur’an and the Hadith for the merits of Jihad for Allah through funds and sacrificing one’s life. It should be noted that in the 80’s and 90’s the Saudis adopted the idea of Jihad with money and supported the spread of Da’awa and fighting Jihad around the world.[98]

The true nature of Saudi Internet deradicalization campaign

The overwhelming magnitude of the Saudi contribution to radicalization among Muslim communities around the world and the dissemination of its ideology through Saudi Islamic centers, the Saudi embassies, charities, and propaganda are well known facts. The Saudi willingness for a brave and genuine deradicalization effort is still untransformed regarding the global aspects of the Wahhabi aggressive Da’awa. The above mentioned Sakeenah campaign web site reflects that the Saudis appear to be taking only their own domestic threat seriously however on the global scale; they totally renounce their responsibilities and accountability for their actions and its consequences. The Saudi domestic campaign focuses exclusively on internal facets while ignoring and rejecting their international responsibility in promoting extreme ideology and ideas. This fact is reflected through the nature of posted materials articles, commentaries, statements, reports and advices, on While analysts and commentators have come to distinguish between "official" and "unofficial" or "informal" religious establishments-like the Sakeenah “private” initiative campaign, the distinction is largely artificial. Most clerics draw their salaries from the government departments where they are employed or the religious universities (which are state governed institutions) where they teach; even those who are not on the state payroll belong to organizations that are supervised and centrally controlled and funded by the Saudi regime. Indirectly, they receive state revenues or direct support from individual members of the royal family.

The attempts to overhaul the education system — often criticized for espousing extremism and hatred for other religions — have received less support within the government and the Ulama hard liners who still reject any ideological overhaul.

It seems that the Sakeenah campaign is convenient to be presented by the Saudis as an external non-governmental independent initiative, rather than a governmental led operation. From past experience and analysis of the Saudi’s double game policy and conduct, one can assume that the Saudis on one hand use the campaign for propaganda purposes encouraging its existence for internal real threats, while on the other hand the campaign can be presented to the international political and the public opinion for political benefits without any formal or direct responsibility to the global aspects of the their radicalization influence and actions.

The statement of the minister of Islamic Affairs on 20 May 2008 noting that the Al Sakeenah campaign was initiated a year ago (2007 at the time) and was led by his ministry, contradicts previous Saudi statements and official reports claiming that the campaign was a private non-governmental one that had been launched in 2004, a fact that sheds suspicions regarding the reliability and authenticity of the project.[99] Still it’s an unanswered question.

The Al Sakeenah web site reports that a number of successful al Sakeenah activities were conducted by the campaign and resulted in over “800 people to regret their terrorist ideas” (as stated by the Saudi minister of Islamic Affairs). These results bear a propaganda style of publication that can not be confirmed or vetted. [100] Similar report delivered by Abd El - Mun'im Al- Mushwakh, Al Sakeenah campaign director, from 24 February 2009 regarding the “successful al Sakeenah campaign to rehabilitate 478 Saudi individuals out of 1460” and divert them from Takfir thoughts, is focused domestically, also bearing a propaganda style which is difficult to vet or confirm.[101] It seems that the Saudi de-radicalization program has become a quick fixing rapid formula, despite a lack of evidence that it works in light of the unchanged ideological Wahhabi state sponsored doctrine.

The Saudi deradicalization campaign to “dry out the sources of terrorism thoughts”[102] as declared by the minister of Islamic Affairs, corroborates the fact that the campaign is totally aimed to deal with domestic security threats on Islamic Wahhabi doctrine. This, according to his statement is promoted by deviant elements encouraging Takfir (the practice of other Muslim school of thoughts). This threat might generate internal turmoil and instability that may shake the foundations of the doctrinal and political order, disrupt the internal delicate equilibrium, and threatens the very existence of the Saudi Islamic states. According to John Horigan "most of those who leave terrorist movements or are released from prisons after serving terrorism-related sentences retain the same views and aims but move on to nonviolent areas of activity — fundraising, for example".[103]

The Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta’) web site

The Saudi regime playing both sides regarding their “de radicalization campaign” was reflected in the Saudi Daily online Arab News. Parallel and simultaneously to the Al Sakeenah de radicalization campaign, the Saudi online "Arab News" reported on 7 October 2007 that the Riyadh-based official institution, the Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta’), which consists of prominent Islamic scholars that issue Fatwas, have set up a portal website for its religious rulings. [104] According to the announcement, the site provides quick access to the Fatwas issued by Dar Al-Ifta’, which is affiliated to the Saudi official Council of Senior Islamic Scholars headed by the Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh-the minister of Islamic Affairs Da’awa and Guidance in the Saudi government.

According to the report in the Arab News," the launch of the website comes in response to calls for the authentication of religious edicts in Saudi Arabia where certain radical groups sometimes issue sketchy Fatwas urging Muslim youths to take part in jihad”.[105] According to the report, the newly launched website is aimed at giving Muslims a place to review authentic and widely accepted Fatwas issued by the official Islamic religious authority in the Kingdom. On the home page of the site, one can find the Fatwas of the permanent committee for Ifta’, Fatwas issued by the late Saudi grand Mufti Sheikh Bin Baz, and the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars as well as the Islamic Research Magazine. These Fatwas from the Ulama represent the Saudi kingdom and its religious and governmental official religious foundations and its policy.

The Arab News report proudly mentioned that Saudis and expatriates in the Kingdom welcomed the new Fatwa website and said it would help the public to receive authentic religious rulings and opinions on various issues. Mohammed Habeeb, director general of the Da’awa Center in Al-Salama district in Jeddah, said that Dar Al-Ifta’ site is very informative and would benefit a large number of people worldwide and called upon Dar Al-Ifta’ to translate the religious rulings into English and other major languages… many foreigners make use of it.” [106] His statement provides another proof to the nature of the Saudi religious global and international outreach and its influence on Muslims around the world.

The Ulama of Dar al Ifta' and the Saudi establishment. [107]

The Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts was established within a royal decree, number 1/137 issued on 8/7/1391 hijra (29/8/1971), authorizing the establishment of the Council of Higher Ulama. In the fourth clause of the decree it was stated: “the permanent committee for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts, will be subjected to the Council of Higher Ulama, will split off from the council and its members will be elected from amongst council members by a royal decree.” The Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts is affiliated to the Saudi official Council of Senior Islamic Scholars headed by the Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh-the minister of Islamic Affairs Da’awa and Guidance in the Saudi government.

The permanent council of the Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts is comprised of fourteen members headed by the current Saudi grand Mufti. Within the council's 14 members the following persons are of a particular interest due to the fact that they simultaneously held an official state position, they were also actively involved in promoting the Wahhabi Da'awa and supported all forms of Jihad and subversive violent activities on the global scale:

· The late Sheikh Abd al Aziz bin Baz, the former Saudi grand Mufti who died in 1999 and his Fatwas appear in the Fatwa section. Bin Baz was undoubtedly one of the most influential Islamic characters in the 20th century Islamic world. His sermons, articles and especially the thousands of religious edicts he issued dealing with almost every thinkable subject left their mark on millions of Muslims and Islamic organizations around the world – from the supporters of moderate Islam to radical fundamentalist Muslims. His writing served as a basis for training Da’awa and Jihad activists in Saudi Arabia and abroad, in the educational system and in Islamic institutions, especially in the universities.

Bin Baz’s teachings are influenced by his perception of the West’s threat to Islam, which he called “The Western attack” or the “ideological attack”, and his hatred towards infidels. The response Bin Baz promoted in his many edicts is the use of Da’awa and Jihad as the leading means against the West. Bin Baz is especially important because he characterizes influences and formulates activity patterns of the Saudi establishment’s exportation of the Wahhabism. He simultaneously served as a Saudi minister and head of Muslim World League (MWL) founding council and as such was one of the formulators of the strategy for the activity of MWL, IIRO and WAMY, part of whose budget found its way to radical Islamic terrorist organizations outside of Saudi Arabia. His recorded sermons and writings have been internationally circulated and some have been translated to several languages, both in print and digitally. Their translation and distribution were intended not only to commemorate his heritage, but also as an integral part of the Saudi system for spreading radical Wahhabi Islam around the world.

A post in the Fatwa section of Dar Al Ifta' contains a call issued by the Saudi grad Mufti Sheikh Bin Baz to Muslim governments and Muslim people to assist the Bosnia-Herzegovina Muslims with manpower money and arms and to support their Jihad. Bin Baz urged the Muslim Ummah to assist and donate to the people of Bosnian-Herzegovina through the Saudi High Commission for collecting donations to Bosnia-Herzegovina. This commission is headed by prince Salman bin Abd Al Aziz, the governor of Riyadh and the donations were sent through accounts in the Bank of Riyadh, Al- Rajhi establishment and Al- Ahli Bank.[108]

Sheikh Bin Baz’s monumental contribution is still regarded as the main source of the Wahhabi ideological-doctrinal jurisprudence, his edicts and rulings are relevant even 10 years after he passed away. Whereas the Saudi Wahhabi doctrinal renewal is frozen and no current prominent religious figure has stepped to replace his capacity with contemporary updated edicts, Bin Baz's old radical thoughts, edicts and ruling that have been issued during the 80's and 90's are still intact.

· Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan, as mentioned above, had been promoting aggressive Wahabbi radical ideology and simultaneously was included within the published nominations of the royal decree, number 1/137, that was issued on 8/7/1391 Hejra (29/8/1971), and was named as a member of “The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fatwa”.[109]

· Dr. Baker Bin Abdullah Abu Zaid - his name was also included in a list of nominations by the same royal decree[110] and was also a member of the Islamic religious scholars council of the Muslim World League.[111] Dr. Baker Bin Abdullah Abu Zaid was also included in a list of nominations by the same royal decree[112] and was also a member of the Islamic religious scholar council of the Muslim World League.[113] After higher education at Imam Muhammad Bin Sa`ud Islamic University and the Advanced Institute for Jurisprudence, he went on to become one of the leading sheikhs in Saudi Arabia; he was appointed a third-rank Qadi in 1968, to second rank in 1972, and first-rank in 1974, after which he became imam and khatib (preacher) of the Prophet's Mosque (al-Masjid al-Nabawwi). Appointed minister to the Ministry of Justice in 1979. In the same year, appointed to the Higher Council of Jurists (Majlis al-qada' al-`ala) and subsequently to the Senior Council of Clerics (Hay'a Kubbar al-`Ulama).[114]

· Sheikh Ahmad Bin Ali Bin Ahmad Sir Al Mubaraki - was included in a list of nominations by a royal decree, number 1/137, which was issued on 8/7/1391 Hejra (29/8/1971) authorizing the establishment of the Council of Higher Ulama and as a member of “The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fatwa”. Sheikh Al Mubaraki is also mentioned to be previously on the Sharia' advisory board of Al Rajhi banking and financing company, which was implicated as financial channel to entities and individuals identified as involved in terrorism. [115] Seized materials captured in the course of the Israeli “Defensive Shield” operation in the West Bank, include lists of money transfers and checks from the “Rajhi” Bank through banks in the United States to identified Hamas entities in the West Bank and Gaza, against some of which law suits were filed in the United States, proving actual money transfers, and in fact constituting a closed circle from the phase of giving a payment order up to its execution.

· Muhammad Bin Hassan Al Sheikh- is mentioned to be on the board of the Saudi based charity "Al Haramain"[116]. It should be noted that Al Haramain was designated by the USA and the UN to be shut down for its active involvement and assistance to Al Qaeda. Muhammad Bin Hassan Al Sheikh was included in a list of nominations by a royal decree, number 1/137, which was issued on 8/7/1391 Hejra (29/8/1971) authorizing the establishment of the Council of Higher Ulama and as a member of “The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fatwa”.

Dar Al Ifta' Fatwas- as the reflection of the Saudi Mindset

Countless numbers of de- radicalization initiatives have been engaged to win the ‘battle of the hearts and minds’ in Saudi Arabia, some which included tackling the influence of radicals over the Internet. The October 2007 initiative, taken by the Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ift'a), the Riyadh-based official governmental institution, which was comprised of prominent Islamic scholars that issued Fatwas, was another step. The site ( provides access to the Fatwas issued by Dar Al-Ift’a, which is affiliated to the Saudi official governmental Council of Senior Islamic Scholars of Saudi Arabia. The decision to tackle radical ideology via the Internet was made after it was alleged that some Imams in Saudi Arabia were issuing Fatwas and calling on young people to take part in the Jihad. The project also aims to tackle the broadening Jihadi Internet scene that increasingly targets and recruits ‘Wahhabi Jihadists’ through the World Wide Web.

The Kingdoms’ efforts in pretending to contain radicalization and the abuse of Islam by so called “certain radical groups sometimes issue sketchy Fatwas urging Muslim youths to take part in jihad” [117] presents an institutionalized Saudi direction to tackle the threat. Yet a thorough analysis of the contents of Dar Al Ifta’ reveal a Saudi organized state sponsored act of falsification and deceit. The Fatwas posted on the web site are far from being newly authenticated or moderate as claimed. This "newly and updated" web site contains religious edicts that are remote of moderation, however the radical ideas and doctrinal Wahhabi extremism seem to be unchanged—a fact which is indicative of falsification and misrepresentation of reality as presented by the Saudi government. If the Fatwas posted are really "newly authorized and authenticated" as it was officially published by formal statements, the immediate conclusion must be that Saudis did not change anything in their doctrine and behavior.

A thorough search and investigation within the Arabic and the English web sites conducted during April 2009, reveals that radical Wahhabi-Salafi extreme ideology is still posted in both languages, although the English one is more volume limited in the number of Fatwas in comparison to the Arabic section.

The institutionalized governmental Saudi Scientific Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta’), which claimed to be “moderate and responsible", has posted 197 allegedly authenticated Fatwas. Upon investigation, these were found to be unchanged old Fatwas, dealing with the same traditional teachings on Jihad in all its forms especially focused on the late Sheikh Bin Baz Fatwas sanctioning Jihad in its violent versions when dealing with Jihad fronts (Chechnya, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Kashmir, Palestine).

The web site includes 39 Fatwas dealing with the Saudi Wahhabi ideology which regards other ideologies, as an existential threat to Muslims around the world which has to be protected by the virtues of the Saudi Wahhabi school of thought through its Da’awa infrastructure on the global scale. The Saudi misconception of reforms or changes as presented by its spokesmen and agents, are mainly concentrated within the internal-domestic radical-Jihadi threats which pose threat to the regime and its stability, but unfortunately no real ideological change was made within the inner religious circles or doctrinal Wahhabi school of thoughts which can be identified.

Dar Al Ifta' as a new Fatwa portal preserves the same old and unchanged traditional extreme inflammatory inciting Fatwas that have been the ideological sources for radicalization and extremism-- a fact which proves that no real progress has been conducted if to judge the current published Fatwas and religious advice. This fact indicates that the Saudi government and the religious establishment still need to maintain their old traditional Wahhabi doctrine as their sources of legitimacy.

It should be noted that almost all of Bin Baz’s Fatwas are identical to his Fatwas posted on the Bin Baz memorial foundation’s web site ( and on the Muslim World League web site[118], which was and still is one of the most powerful agents of radicalization, controlled and activated by the Saudi regime, which claims and pretends to be only a humanitarian Saudi aid organization.[119]

The Saudi government may claim that Bin Baz’s Fatwas are historic and posted for the memory of his monumental work. However this claim can be easily dismissed by a counter claim that it is public knowledge that the Fatwas of Bin Baz were the source of legitimacy for young Saudis to join Jihad or contribute with money, international Da’awa activities abroad, and as the doctrinal base and source for radicalization within Muslims worldwide. Bin Baz legitimized Jihad, called for Zakat donation to be used to purchase guns ammunition to Mujahidin, sought assistance and enlistment to the Saudi charities operating abroad (which some were designated by the USA and the UN), and asked for Muslims to provide assistance to the Mujahidin in their Jihad on the global scale.

If in fact, the Saudi government was conducting a genuine responsible authentication process of Fatwas to neutralize the seeds of radicalization as a genuine intent, they should at least had to omit the Jihad and the “cultural Western attack” and support for Jihad Fatwas from the new Dar Al Ifta’ web site.

But Saudi Arabia, as the cradle of Global Jihad ideology and support, where the forming leaders of Al Qaeda and their lieutenants were educated, nursed and ideologiezed still prefers--knowing the weaknesses of the west and its dependency on the Saudi oil production--to maintain its legacy. Saudi Arabia does not bother to make a real authentic reform effort for any changes. Whereas global Jihad is doctrinally deeply rooted within the Saudi-Wahhabi school of thought and is the raison d’etre' of the Saudi regime for its survivability and continuity, there is a little chance to expect any major changes or doctrinal metamorphosis in the Saudi conduct or its related religious establishments.

Comparing the two web sites (Al Sakeenah v. Dar Al Ifta) demonstrates the Saudi double face policy in their seriousness regarding the de-radicalization process. While “Al Sakeenah” is dealing only with issues concerning exclusively the Saudi domestic stability and its governments’ and royal family Islamic legitimacy, the true and real face of the Saudis is revealed in Dar Al Ifta web site. As if nothing has happened the latter, posts series of unchanged radical, inciting religious edicts sponsored by the government. The deradicalization process that should start in Saudi Arabia has to be led by its government while allocating efforts and resources on global scale directed to de- radicalization in the Muslim communities in the West. Saudi Arabia as the cradle and source of the institutionalized state sponsor exporting of Sunni Wahhabi extremism should be held responsible to correct the evil.

The Saudi deradicalization failure

The Saudi de- radicalization initiative was a failure as described by the Saudi interior minister on 4 May 2007. After a series of arrests in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abd Al-'Aziz criticized the authorities' mishandling of extremism in Saudi Arabia on the ideological level. In an interview to the London daily Al-Hayat he declared he was "dissatisfied with the level of activity in the ideological, social, scientific, educational, and media [areas], in dealing with the intentions of the misguided group, and in exposing its plans, which are aimed at causing civil war and destroying the country and its national resources." He said that the ideology behind the country's handling of the problem of terrorism was still "weak," and "not comparable to the efforts on the security level."[120]

Similar criticism was voiced by the Arab columnist Mamdouh Al-Muhaini, in a column posted on the Al-Arabiyya TV website. "The Saudi Interior Ministry's recent announcement of the exposure of seven cells that planned to carry out extensive violent operations exposed another aspect of the lax handling of extremism and terrorism on the ideological level. From the outset, it was clear that the perception underlying the program for fighting terrorism and extremism was flawed, that the program's steps were confused, and that it was operating without goals".[121]

Whereas the Saudi regime considers the religion and the Da’awa mechanisms as its main source for exporting and promoting its Wahhabi ideology inside and outside the kingdom, it is the kingdoms' moral duty and its political responsibility to engage in new religious reforms and renewal (Tajdid). The Saudi regime needs to engage a decisive "re-programming" reform policy in which the established Ulama, who are the authoritative source of the Wahhabi doctrine and its Islamic values and concepts, will be the focal center of the activities supervised by the government. The very same authoritative Ulama establishment that was fully engaged in past Wahhabi programming of radical ideas, they are the ones excepted to lead the change and reforms in the path of de-radicalization. The key factor for any success can be achieved only by engagement of new and courageous retooling and “re-programming” religious Islamic reform campaign based on updated jurisprudence efforts, reformed ideology and sets of values domestically as well as internationally among Islamic communities worldwide.

Saudi Arabia should engage a widespread approach through its international web of influence such as the religious establishment to lead this trend both by issuing updated new and ratified Fatwas, assimilating them into the educational systems, and training Da’awa activists in Saudi-Arabia and sending them to carry out activity in Islamic communities around the world. The Internet should be a part in this effort unlike the current Dar Al Ifta' web site.

Ideological Efforts Must Equal the Security Efforts

As mentioned before, the Saudi government has developed its own strategy to combat terrorism, which Saudi officials characterized as focusing on three areas or pillars: “men, money, and mindset.” The “men” pillar of the strategy focuses on arresting or killing terrorists. The “money” pillar of the strategy focuses on measures to counter terrorism financing, the “mindset” pillar of the strategy focuses on preventing extremism by addressing the ideology that is used to recruit and indoctrinate potential terrorists.[122] Saudi officials stated that the “mindset” pillar is the most challenging aspect of its counterterrorism strategy and will be a long-term challenge. Nonetheless, the Saudi actions on the mindset pillar are intentionally poorly performed and contradict the statements made by the Saudi government of it's commitment to combating extremist ideology through programs such as public information campaigns and terrorist rehabilitation programs. As demonstrated in the analysis, the Saudi government still is engaged through the Dar Al Ifta' web site to spread extremist ideology promoting hatred, intolerance, and violence.

Tareq Al-Homayed, the "Al-Sharq Al-Awsat" editor-in-chief points out that despite Saudi Arabia's intense efforts to combat terrorism and its ideological underpinnings, extremism is still rampant in the country, especially among the youth. He calls for focusing intense efforts on eradicating the sources of extremist incitement in Saudi Arabia, and on national dialogue aimed at immunizing the youth against extremist ideology. The most important thing is to track down are the instigators in Saudi Arabia, and undertake an ideological effort that will equal the security effort.[123] Al Homayed sums up his article by bravely stating:" However, let us be honest with each other, the religious and ideological efforts in Saudi Arabia must be doubled in order to protect the youth from the evil [people] that seek to incite them, as well as to protect the youth from themselves, and above and before all of this, to protect Saudi Arabia. That is the most important thing".[124]

Mansour Al-Hajj, liberal Saudi columnist who resides in the U.S. discusses the Saudi school curricula, which include incitement to violence and hatred of the other. Al-Hajj, argues that as long as Wahhabi Islam remains the country's state religion, there will be no chance of meaningful reform in the Saudi curricula. He also questions the American policy of demanding reform in Saudi schools while at the same time allowing Wahhabi religious curricula to be taught in the U.S. itself.[125]

In the Saudi daily Al-Jazeera, Ramadhan Jaridi Al-'Anzi argues that the Arab discourse has for centuries been saturated with violent rhetoric, resulting in a violent culture steeped with hostility for the other. He calls on Arab intellectuals to bring about a "linguistic awakening" by replacing this violent rhetoric with language that is more moderate and objective.[126]
While there have been some efforts to sanitize Saudi websites, publications and textbooks of religious hatred, the record of demonstrable and provable changes is spotty at best; at worst such efforts have been devoid of any substance. Publications from Saudi Arabia and Saudi websites, either officially operated by the regime or those of non-government organizations, continue to spread an extremist view of Islam throughout the world.

Future prospects

There is a prevalent claim that the Saudis have a limited capacity to “crack down” on radical ideas, and that the Saudis are “only” guilty of negligence and incompetence. However, the facts, as presented, show a different reality. There is no doubt that as the result of the Al Qaeda attacks in Saudi Arabia in 2003, the regime itself has declared war on the internal Saudi terrorist infrastructure, killing some two dozen Al Qaeda terrorists and arresting scores of others. To give credit where it is due, there have also been credible efforts to begin sanitizing some of the publications, websites and religious dogma published by the regime or Saudi charities but in general, the Saudi war against the Al-Qaeda network in Saudi Arabia has not been translated into systematic corollary measures against Islamic terror networks outside the Kingdom.
Anti-Semitic conspiratorial allegations have been embedded in Saudi religious and political dogma for decades. Persistent allegations that Jews, Christians, Westerners, and other “enemies of the Kingdom” are responsible for Saudi woes strongly belies the notion that Saudi Arabia is sincere in its public condemnations of terrorism.

The Saudi-Wahhabi ideology and doctrinal sources, in all its shapes and forms, has its own inherent phenomenon of homegrown terrorism and the radicalization process within Muslim communities around the world. It was proven over and over again that the Saudi "factory of ideas" has a major active contribution in generating, spreading, propagating and assimilating its doctrines of Jihadism on the global scale.[127]

The Saudi deradicalization needs to start within its ideological roots and primary sources, the very same ones which have started the radicalization process, in other words, when its Islamic jurisprudence will be processed and implemented on the ground through human contacts and interaction, educational and "socialization" process. The new Islamic perceptions have to be newly updated, as obligatory religious Islamic "collective duty" as binding values which are to be led by the Saudi state as a substitute to the old traditional concept of Jihad in all its forms.

Worldwide counter-radicalization initiatives and efforts, which are conducted recently by law enforcement agencies, academia experts and scholars, have a small chance for success unless the Saudi Wahhabi-Salafi ideological and doctrinal sources will be transformed, first and foremost inside Saudi Arabia by its own formal institutional governmental supervised religious establishment. Only the official Saudi royal family and their Ulama as official clerics, who are appointed by the government to positions in the religious hierarchy, can make the change, a process which may change the foundations of state’s policy. Only if the ideological reforms will succeed domestically, their influence and impact that will be projected and radiated through the kingdom's international means of communication, can possibly ignite a new wave of moderation within Muslim communities on the global scale. In this sense, the global Jihad motto "Act local –think global" is applicable for positive ends and can be adopted by the Saudi kingdom. A successful "inner peace" will influence the external peace.

The Saudi double-standard de-radicalization campaign, as well as localized and isolated de-radicalization efforts conducted in the west are courageously executed by isolated individuals and prominent moderate Muslim leaders and clerics, are significantly lacking a source of reference for the legitimacy of Sunni Islam (marjaeeya). These efforts cannot present a powerful authoritative alternative in the de radicalization process without the commitment from the political regime of Saudi Arabia to uphold religious doctrinal reforms and changes backed by the religious establishment. As such, the Saudis are still being perceived as the leaders of the Sunni Muslims around the globe and the religious source of legitimacy and need to act on it. The reformation of Saudi scholarly religious doctrine and support systems, blended into the new Saudi political determination for change, seems to be the only catalyst to start a change in the "battle on hearts and minds" between radicalism and violence or moderation and reconciliation. Only the united impartial straight forward Saudi policy can ignite some change.

Yet a big unanswered question still looms - can Saudi Arabia reform itself?


[1] Bernard Lewis, "The Crises of Islam- Holy War and Unholy Terror" (Random House Trade, 2004).

[2] Jonathan Fighel in, W. McCants and J. Brachman “Militant Ideology Atlas”, (West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center, November 2006) pp.286-288.

[3] Hassan Muhammad Hassan, "Wassa'il Muqawamat al-Ghazu al-Fikri lil-‘Alam al-Islami" (Mecca: Rabitat al-‘Alam al-Islami, 1981), pp. 7-63, 149.

[4] King Fahd, interview on MBC, Foreign Broadcasting Information Service (FBIS), NES-223-91, Nov. 19, 1991; ‘Adnan Kamil, "At-Telefision al-Fadaa'i Keif wa Limadha," ‘Ukaz (Jeddah), July 9, 1992.

[5] Freedom House, "Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques", January 2005.

[6] Denis MacEoin, "The hijacking of British Islam-How extremist literature is subverting mosques in the UK", Policy Exchange 2007, London UK.

[7] Interior Ministry Warns of Radicalization of Muslims, DerSpiegel, 20 December 2007.

[8] Interview with Maria A. Ressa author of" Seeds of Terror - An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia"(Free Press: New York, 2003).

[9] Alex Alexiev, "Terrorism: Growing Wahhabi Influence in the United States", Testimony before the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security, 26 June 2003.

[10] Freedom House, "Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques", January 2005.

[11]"The Saudi Connection", U.S. News & World Report, December 15, 2003.

[12] Clip no.153, Saudi Prince Khaled Al-Faysal on the Cultural Roots of Saudi Terrorism,
Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai/Saudi Arabia) - July 14, 2004

[13] “Militant Ideology Atlas”, p.9.

[14]The use of Zakat for combat Jihad and Da’awa.

[15]The use of Zakat for Jihad in Palestine.


[17] USA Department of Defense (DOD) web site publication regarding Combatant Status Review Board unclassified summaries of evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) held between July 2004 and July 2007.

[18] Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the Case of Said Ali Jabir Al Khathim Al Shihri – Document Number 000[?]18, 16th June 2005.

[19] Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the Case of Sultan, Fahad, Document 000158, 6th September 2005.

[20] The non-institutional Ulama formulated a letter that deals with the relationship and the developments between the Saud family and the opposition movements in Saudi Arabia.

[21] Tim Niblock, "Saudi Arabia: Power Legitimacy and Survival" (Rutledge, New York, 2006) p.102.

[22] Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the Case of Al Dosari, Juma Mohammed Abdul Latif – Document 000422, 13th September 2006.

[23] Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the Case of Al Barakat, Khalid Hassan Husayn – Document 000481, 29th May 2006.

[24] Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the Case of Humud Dakhil Humud Said Al Jadan, Document 000268, 2nd November 2005.

[25] Fatwa of the Saudi Sheikh Suleiman Bin Nasser Al 'Alwan sanctioning suicide attacks. See also the Saudi Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mani' Fatwa

[26] . (14/2/1422 Hejri), 7 May 2001.

[27] 1267 Committee Sanctions Lashkar e-Tayyiba Associated Individuals and Entities. See

[28] Jonathan Fighel, "Pakistan - Jama't-ud-Da’wah (JuD) the Saudi Wahhabi Influence", 27 December 2008.

[29] United States Government Accountability Office, "U.S. Agencies Report Progress Countering Terrorism and Its Financing in Saudi Arabia", September 2009,p.13.

[30] Ibid.p.26.

[31] "Countering Online Radicalization - A Strategy for Action" a policy report, International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR), King’s College London, March 2009, p.13.

[32] The "King Abd al Aziz City for Science and Technology" (KACST), established in 1998 by the appointment of the Saudi King and government .See the Saudi daily Ukaz, 24 February 1998.

[33] Arab Media, "Saudi Internet Rules", 1 August, 2003. (Reproducing the Council of Ministers Resolution of Feb. 12, 2001).






[39] The web site is operated by the Arabian Advanced Systems, Riyadh Saudi Arabia.


[41] (Accessed on 21 August 2009).

[42] (Accessed on 12 October 2009).

[43] Ruling (regarding) the presence of Jews, Christians and Polytheists in the Arabian Peninsula.

[44] , 25 April 2001.

[45] , 30 October 2000.

[46] , 10 November 1999.

[47] "The Legitimacy of the Taliban Government" ,28 November 2000.

[48] Administrative and Technical Contact is webmaster Abu Hamzah Abu Hamzah, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. (Accessed on 12 October 2009).

[49] (Accessed 12 October 2009).

[50] Ibid.

[51] (Accessed 12 October 2009).

[52] (Accessed 12 October 2009).

[53] (Accessed 12 October 2009).

[54] Sheikh Suleiman Bin Nasser Al- Alwan web site . (Server location Bellevue, WA 98007 US, shut down in 2008).Ruling on suicide attacks see

[55] Chapters in the life of Sheikh Suleiman Bin Nasser Al Alwan,11 February 2002 and 9 April 2008

[56] on 12 September 2009)

[57] .(Accessed on 12 September 2009)

[58] Ahmad Muhammad Jamal, “Al-Jihad fi Al-Islam: Maratibuhu wa-Matalibuhu” (Jihad in Islam: its Degreed and Demands), Da'awat Al-Haqq, the MWL, issue no. 2, December 8th 1980.

[59] Hassan Muhammad Hassan, “Wasail Muqawamat Al-Ghazu Al-Fikri lil-Alam Al-Islami” (the Means of Combating the Ideological Invasion into the Muslim World), Da’awat Al-Haqq, the MWL, issue no. 5, March 7th 1981.

[60] Muhammad Abdullah Fuda, “Al-Tariq Ila Al-Nasr” (The Road to Victory), Da’awat Al-Haqq, the MWL, issue no. 45, August 17th 1985.

[61] The non-institutional Ulama formulated a letter that deals with the relationship and the developments between the Saud family and the opposition movements in Saudi Arabia.

[62] Tim Niblock, "Saudi Arabia: Power Legitimacy and Survival" (Rutledge, New York, 2006) p.102.

[63] Sheikh al-Jibrin name appears in the phone directory dated to 2006 issued by the General Presidency of the Promotion of Virtues and the Prevention of Vice. .p.30.

[64] (updated to 17 October 2009).

[65] (updated to 25 October 2009).



[68] See Sheikh Al- Ahdal web site, "Mawqi' Al Rawda Al Islami".

[69] . (Accessed on 29 August 2009).


[71] Abdullah Qadri Al-Ahdal , "A Journey to the Philippines in 1989"..

[72] Sheikh Al Ahdal web site, table of content, series of links to Jihad issues.


[74] Husain Haqqani, “India’s Islamist Groups: Current Trends in Islamist Ideology", Vol. 3 (February 16, 2006): 21-22; and; Bashir Amad Khan, “The Ahl-i-Hadith: A Socio-Religious Reform Movement in Kashmir,” Muslim World 90, nos. 1-2 (Spring 2000): 133-58.

[75] Executive Order 13224 blocking Terrorist Property USA Department of Treasury designation, 2006. See also

[76] The Al-Hejaz Journal is published in London since November 2002 by the Hejazi National Association (Saudi opposition). It should be noted that due to the Journal’s content, its web site is blocked for viewers from Saudi-Arabia.

[77] The website is the Saudi opposition in the United States.


[79] Christopher Boucek, “The Sakinah Campaign and Internet Counter-Radicalization in Saudi Arabia”, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, CTC Sentinel, August 2008. Vol1. Issue 9.

[80] Al-Madina (Saudi Arabia), July 1, 2005.

[81] Y. Yehoshua, "Reeducation of Extremists in Saudi Arabia" 18 January 2006.

[82] Ibid.

[83] Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan,"Khukum al- Ightiyal wa al- Tfjeer fi Bilad al- Kufar" (Ruling of assassinations and bombing within the infidel lands).

[84] Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan,"Manhajna fi al-Ta'amul ma'a al Khukam al Muslem wa Gheir al Muslem". (The traditional conduct dealing with Muslim rulers and non Muslim ruler). See also Sheikh Al-Othaymeen,"Khukum Aladi Yufajer Nafsaho bain Majmua'h Min al-Kufar" (Ruling on one blow himself among a group of infidels). . Also Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan,"Khukum al-Ightiyalat wa 'Amal al-Tfjirat"(ruling on assassinations and blowing up).

[85] (Accessed on 22 August 2009).

[86] (Accessed on 22 August 2009).

[87] (Accessed on 22 August 2009).

[88] Jonathan Fighel, "The Saudi Connection to the Mumbai Massacres", 12 February 2009.
See also, Jonathan Fighel, "Pakistan - Jama't-ud-Da’wah (JuD) - The Saudi Wahhabi Influence", 27 December 2008.

[89] Muhammad Nufal and ‘Abdullah Zāyid, “Hay’at Kibar al-‘Ulama’… Marja‘iyat al-Salafiyyah al-Mu‘asirah”, (Al-Muslimun, Saudi Arabia, 25/4/1997), pg.10.
[90] Saudi clerics want death penalty for TV owners, Al Arabia News Channel, 14 September 2008.

[91] James Brandon & Douglas Murray “How British libraries encourage Islamic extremism” Centre for Social Cohesion, Westminster London SW1P 2EZ, August 2007.


[93] Muhammad Nufal and ‘Abdullah Zāyid, “Hay’at Kibar al-‘Ulama’… Marja‘iyat al-Salafiyyah al-Mu‘asirah” (The Council of Higher Ulama – The authority source of modern Salafi), Al-Muslimun (Saudi Arabia), (25/4/1997), pg.10.

[94], General Al-Qaeda representative on Northern Caucasus annihilated December 16, 2005.

[95] Abd Al-Aziz Bin Baz, “The Greatest Jihad”, in: Muhammad Bin ‘Abd Al-Aziz Al-Musand (editor), Fatawa Islamiyya, 4 (Riyadh Dar Al-Watan, 1994), pp. 261-262.

[96] Abd Al-Aziz Bin Baz, “The defense of Muslim territory is considered a form of Jihad” in: Muhammad Bin Abd Al-Aziz Al-Musand (editor), Fatawa Islamiyya, 4 (Riyadh Dar Al-Watan, 1994), pp. 259-260.

[97] See also Abd al-Aziz bin Baz, "The Ideological Attack", (Middlesex, UK: Message of Islam, 1999), pp. 5, 36-38, and 41.

[98] Bin Baz, “Merit of Jihad and Mujahadin”, Majmu‘ Fatawa wa-Maqalat Mutanawwi‘a (various articles and religious edicts), 2 (Riyadh: Maktabat Al-Ma‘arif Lil-nashr Wa-al-tawzi‘, 1997), pp. 430-448.

[99] 20 May 2008.

[100] 20 May 2008.

[101] 24 February 2009.

[102] Ibid.

[103] John Horigan, director of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at Penn State University, has written two books on de-radicalization. “Leaving Terrorism Behind: Individual and Collective Disengagement".


[105] Ibid.

[106] Ibid.


[108] "A Call to the Muslim Ummah to assist the Bosnian – Herzegovina people". Part 8, page 261.

[109] Muhammad Nufal and ‘Abdullah Zayid, “Hay’at Kibar al-‘Ulama’… Marja‘iyat al-Salafiyyah al-Mu‘asirah” (The Council of Higher Ulama – The authority source of modern Salafi), Al-Muslimun (Saudi Arabia), (25/4/1997), p. 10. See also

[110] Ibid.


[112] Ibid.


[114] “Militant Ideology Atlas”.


[116] . First accessed and downloaded in 15 April 2009. In 21 September 2009 access, the Al Haramain connection and other details have been erased.



[119] "Muslim World League (PO Box 537, Makkah) was founded in 1962 (1381/82 AH) to promote Islamic unity." Saudi Arabia Information Resource Website.

[120] Y. Admon and M. Feki "Saudi Press Reactions to the Arrest of Seven Terrorist Cells in Saudi Arabia", 18 May 2007.

[121] Ibid.

[122] United States Government Accountability Office, "U.S. Agencies Report Progress Countering Terrorism and Its Financing in Saudi Arabia", September 2009,p.13.

[123] Tariq Alhomayed, "Saudi Youth and Terrorism…When Will it End?", Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London) , May 24, 2009.

[124] Ibid.

[125] "Liberal Saudi Columnist: With Wahhabism as State Religion, There's No Chance of Reform for Saudi Schools", Memri, Special Dispatch No. 2571 – Reform Project.

[126] "Saudi Columnist: The Gun and the Pen Should Not Speak the Same Language", Memri, Special Dispatch - No. 2570, 30 September 2009. ttp://

[127] See footnote number 62.