Tag Archive | "Al Qaeda"

The Black Widow of Saudi


From Saudi Arabia Corespondent Eman Al Nafjan…

The fight against terrorism in Saudi Arabia is taken very seriously and hundreds of terrorists have been caught. Last March 113 members of sleeper cells were arrested. The Saudi media at the time did not focus much on who these people were, until June 3rd when the head of Al Qaeda in Yemen, Saeed Al Shihri threatened to assassinate members of the royal family and government officials if Heila Al Qusayer was not freed.

Heila is a 36 year old Saudi woman from a respectable and upper middle class family from the Qaseem region. In March she was apprehended by the Saudi secret services at the home of another terrorist. However the government has a policy of respecting the privacy of women terrorists so not much was known about her before the Qaeda demands. But when Al Shihri showed how desperate Al Qaeda is for her release, people became curious.

Heila grew up in Qasseem and obtained a BA degree in geography. During her time in college something drew her into extremism and she eventually ended up married to an influential extremist who also was much older than her. Her first husband, Abdulkareem Al Humaid, is a former ARAMCO employee. He quit his job and lived a life of  complete extremist Puritanism, no electricity, cars or any other modern invention. It’s rumoured that he didn’t even use paper money. Due to his preaching of Islamic fundamentalism he was arrested and imprisoned to this day. From prison, he divorced Heila and advised a former student of his, Mohammed Al Wakael to marry her. They married and during her pregnancy with her now 5 year old daughter, Al Wakael was shot down by the Saudi Special Forces. Since his death Heila’s activities intensified. She would go around proselytizing Al Qaeda’s version of Islam. She managed to collect substantial sums of money under the pretense of building mosques and helping orphans. She is documented to have transferred 650,000 dollars to Al Qaeda. She uses women to recruit men to the cause. The terrorist’s home that she was found in was actually a moderate Muslim who was changed by Heila after she became close to his wife. Sixty Qaeda members took orders from her and she arranged safe houses for hiding.

The use of women to recruit men has become a noticeable trend. Three factors are creating this phenomenon; the enormous percentage of unemployed women who are a product of our borderline extremist education system, their access to the internet and the fact that 83% of all Saudis are under the age of 39. Although they might not be out fighting and bombing, they are doing something just as sinister by spreading the ideology online and recruiting the men in their families. Before Heila, this was going on relatively undetected and even those that are caught are treated as victims rather than as perpetrators.

A point made by Ms. Hessa Al Sheikh in her widely read article. She is unimpressed by how these terrorist women are portrayed in the media.  As an example she gives Sheikh Al Swailim’s interview regarding Heila. Sheikh Al Swailim is on the counseling committee. He meets with caught terrorists and tries to convince them that their ideology is wrong. When he was asked about Heila he referred to her as “sister Heila, a very simple woman who was stressed and revengeful after the killing of her second husband”. Sheikh Al Swailim went on to say that he found her quite “rational” in her argument and that the “poor woman” is “uneducated” and here Ms. Hessa Al Sheikh points out how could she be uneducated when she has a BA?

Sheikh Al Swailim claims that Heila only after a 90 minute conversation became remorseful and Ms. Hessa Al Sheikh remarks that’s not counseling, that’s magic! And then she moves on to Prof. Al Saeedi, who was on the same show that sheikh Al Swailim was on, he is of the view that Heila is not important but only an “exploited” woman who the media is using to draw our attention away from Gaza and the flotilla. Another guest on that show, Sheikh Al Maliki, had the audacity to claim that some of these terrorists are actually agents from the West and that they are working under the umbrella of foreign countries and embassies to defeat our country.

Fortunately some good did come out of the capture of Heila Al Qusayer. She provided the government sensitive information about Al Qaeda and just by being, she shows us how big a threat women of her mindset are. Now the Ministry of Islamic Affairs is looking into regulating those that call themselves dayia (Islamic missionary), a title that Heila used to get access to social circles.

On a lighter note, one of the articles I read on Heila’s capture had a commenter asking how was she identified and that he hoped that they did not resort to uncovering her face. As if that was all that mattered, that a Muslim woman’s face remains covered!

Posted in Home Page, Saudi WomanComments (8)

On the Verge of Chaos


2188452373_9e77d78edaYemen is one of the most impoverished and religiously fundamentalist places on the planet. Its own government even understands the fact that urgent political and economic reforms are needed to fight the cancer that is al-Qaeda, slowly spreading throughout the nation. They recognize the fact that continued al-Qaeda militancy risks stability and will only bring problems to an already troubled country.

Poverty is conducive to an atmosphere of radicalization and with nearly half of all Yemenis living on $2 a day, millions of people feel alienated and disenfranchised. Roughly half the population is also illiterate and the nation recently ranked 182nd out of 191 countries in general knowledge aptitude tests. In other words, Yemen is prime territory for al-Qaeda recruitment. Hopelessness, poverty and illiteracy are all hallmarks of those most often drawn into terrorism.

Following the December 25th attempt to blow up an American Airline with 300 people on board, under pressure from both Saudi Arabia and the Unites States, the Yemen government officially declared war on al-Qaeda. The States and Saudi also happen to be Yemen’s two biggest donors. Al Qaeda aside, Yemen is also facing a nation wide water shortage, a secessionist movement in the south, and a Shiite Muslim revolt in the north. In other words, it is a country on the verge of both chaos and collapse.  

“The challenges in Yemen are growing and, if not addressed, risk threatening the stability of the country and broader region. The government of Yemen recognizes the urgent need to address these issues which will take sustained and focused engagement,” said a government statement.  

In an emergency interventionist meeting planned for this week, the G8 nations (Canada, the United States, Japan, Italy, France, the UK, Germany and Russia) the Gulf Cooperation Council (the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman) along with Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey will meet to discuss Yemen’s fragile and potentially hazardous state. United Nations representatives and officials from both the Word Bank and the IMF will also be present at the meeting set to take place in London. Security, health, education, and economic reform are expected to take center stage.

The attempted December 25 made the international community realize that if Yemen is left on its own, al Qaeda could transform the country into something along the lines of Somalia, the tiny nation’s lawless neighbor just across the Gulf of Aden.

From David Anthony Hohol…

Posted in From the Editor, Home PageComments (5)

Al Qaeda’s Love Letter to George W.


Al Queda

From David Anthony Hohol…

When Barack Obama became president of the United States, his foreign policy agenda approach was transparent and forthright.  He believes that America needs to talk with other governments, even if their policies are undemocratic or even extremist. For his administration, dialogue is the key. He also prefers acting with other countries, rather than going it alone. It must have been so very disappointing for terrorists groups like Al Queda to watch Obama addressing the Muslim world from Cairo, calling for fresh start to relations and a new page in history. 

With this is in mind, Al Queda is missing the good old Bush days. Having an American president that reaches out to the developing world in general, and most particularly the Arab Muslim world, annuls the very foundation of Al Queda’s radical ideology; that being the age old and simplistic “Us vs. Them” doctrine.  This too was a George W. favorite.

Ask yourself this question:  How would George W. acted after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s recent attempt to bring down an American Airline on December 25th? What would Bush have said?  To have made the attempt on December 25th suggests the timing was chosen to ignite an East vs. West conflict, building on the eight year war of divisive actions and words between Al Queda and company and the Bush Administration. This is when Bush came up with gems like “You’re either with us, or your with the terrorists.”   In moments like this, George W. Bush was unwittingly the poster boy for Al Queda recruitment.   And oh how they loved him for it.   

With the latest attempt to terrorize the public, the hope was to handcuff another American presidency to the reactionary side of the war on terror. Obama, however, will not be manipulated and will stay on the diplomatic course his administration set into motion the day he was sworn in as President. Perhaps more than any other sitting American President, Obama is very aware of the extremist mindset; that being to hijack the social and political agenda of Muslim societies so as to create conflict and division between East and West. Whether you voted for him or not, most would agree that Obama is aware that crime has no religion. This is why the world will be a more stable place while he remains in power.

Posted in From the Editor, Home PageComments (3)


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