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WASHINGTON – Sa’id al-Shihri, deputy commander for the Sunni militant group al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula, or AQAP, has called for a jihad, or war, against the royal family of Saudi Arabia. That’s the homeland of Sunni Islam, and al-Shihri sees a variety of threats – from the United States and Israel and also from Iran, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Al-Shihri, also known as Abu Sufyan al-Azdi, opposes the U.S. and Israel for combating Sunnism in Afghanistan and Iraq before that, and the fact Sunni militants of the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan have been targeted.
He also is opposed to Shi’a Iran because he regards Shi’ism as heresy to the teachings of Sunni Islam.
According to the Washington think-tank Jamestown Foundation, al-Shihri made his threat in an audiotape entitled “Do Not Lead toward the Wicked.”
Al-Shihri believes that the royal family has allowed Shi’ites to live in the kingdom’s Eastern Province of al-Sharqiyah where much of Saudi Arabia’s oil production takes place.
Shi’ites make up 15 percent of the Saudi kingdom and recently have been demonstrating in the Eastern Province, the closest point to Bahrain where Saudi Arabia recently sent troops to put down an uprising by the Shi’ite majority against the Sunni monarchy.
Al-Shihri also sees Iran behind the Shiite Houthis in the northern part of Yemen, a development which also is of concern to the Saudis. They not only have sent troops into neighboring Yemen to stop any uprising of Houthis but also to head off the advancement of AQAP from entering the Saudi kingdom.
Al-Shihri last year called on the Saudi military to rise up against the royal family and usher in an Islamist regime.
Not only is the Saudi royal family concerned about al-Qaida ousting them to create an Islamist regime but now the family has a similar concern with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which is just across the narrow Red Sea from Saudi Arabia.
Also upsetting to al-Shihri has been the security arrangement the Saudis had with Egypt and Jordan to provide protection to Israel, a 30-year security plan which now appears to be in serious jeopardy.
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