RIYADH/JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed 47 terrorists, 45 of them Saudis, signaling zero tolerance for terrorism, extremism or sectarianism. Most notorious among them were Faris Al-Shuwail and Nimr Al-Nimr.
The other two convicts were citizens of Egypt and Chad, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement to SPA.
The long-awaited death sentences were carried out in 12 cities across the Kingdom, using firing squads and beheading, depending on the facilities at the prisons, Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, the ministry spokesman, said.
Al-Turki said the executions were carried out in jails in Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Eastern Region, Qassim, Hail, Northern Borders Region, Asir, Jouf, Najran, Baha and Tabuk.
The executed men were convicted of embracing takfiri (deviant) ideology, attacking sites of security and military agencies and damaging the Kingdom’s economy.
Meanwhile, Bahrain and the UAE reaffirmed their support to all Saudi efforts to combat terrorism.
The UAE said Saudi Arabia’s implementation of sentences reflects the Kingdom’s determination to eradicate terrorism.
Bahrain said the implementation was necessary to maintain security in the region.
Welcoming the Saudi move, a scholar from Egypt’s highest Sunni authority, Al-Azhar, said it is in line with Islamic teachings against terrorists found guilty of murder and sabotage.
“Saudi Arabia has applied the law of God,” said Fawzi Al-Zafzaf during an interview with Al Arabiya.net.
According to a ministry statement, most of those executed were Al-Qaeda members convicted for their involvement in bombing major government facilities, including the headquarters of the General Directorate of Traffic in Riyadh in 2004, the Ministry of Interior and the Emergency Forces in the same year, killing several security men and citizens.
They were also found guilty of bombing the US Consulate in Jeddah in 2004, killing four security men; and attacking the water refinery in Abqaiq in 2006, which claimed the lives of two security men, it said.
The criminals had targeted King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushayt, Prince Sultan Air Base in Al-Kharj and the Arar Airport, besides kidnapping and killing security personnel, it said.
The other charges against them were confronting security forces with weapons, shooting and hurling Molotov cocktail on them while they were on duty. They instigated their followers to conduct sabotage and armed acts in the streets and at public places, the ministry said.
It added that the men were also were convicted of embracing deviant ideology of Al-Khawarij doctrine that contradicts the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, misleading people and promoting it through various means. They were also involved in bombing of “Al-Hamrah compound in Riyadh, Ashbeliah compound” in 2003 and breaking into Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation compound and Petroleum Center.
Also, in 2004, Oasis residential complex in the Eastern province was targeted using hand grenades, and firearms killing and wounding many citizens and security men.
They had also poisoned public water, and manufactured and smuggled explosives into Saudi Arabia and were found guilty of possessing weapons, bombs and highly explosive material and rockets.
Quoting the Qur’anic verses, the ministry said they deserved the death penalty for shedding the blood of innocent people, violating their privacy, undermining the security of the nation, sowing seeds of discord and creating unrest.
They were also involved in an attempt to bomb Saudi Aramco and several oil facilities, besides a number of armed robberies of banks and commercial properties. They also stole money in large amounts to finance terrorist operations in the country and abroad.
Updated 31 min 25 sec ago
Saudi Arabia's King Salman holds talks with Iraq President Barham Salih
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman holds talks with Iraq President Barham Salih.
An official reception ceremony was held for the Iraqi president, where both countries' national anthems were played.