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Editorial: ‘What a save’ by Saudi security forces

Saudi security officials foil what would have been a certain bloodbath at Al-Jawhara. (AN photo by Ahmed Hashad)

Saudi Arabia won more than just a World Cup qualifier on Oct. 11, 2016. According to the information which was revealed by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) yesterday, the Kingdom’s security forces foiled a terrorist plot, which could have — perish the thought — cost the lives of nearly 60,000 spectators who came to Jeddah’s Al-Jawhara Stadium to cheer the Saudi and UAE national teams that night.
Without a shred of doubt, all security officers who worked on this operation deserve nothing less than our utmost respect and recognition.
However, this is not just because of their success in intelligence gathering, security measures and the swift arrest of all four Daesh-related suspects (2 Pakistanis, a Syrian and a Sudanese); but also for the delicate, calm and sensible approach in which the whole matter was conducted.
After all, the game went on, the audience enjoyed their night and footballers from both sides were able to deliver a spectacular match thanks to the courage, sacrifice and professional handling of the situation by the Kingdom’s army of ‘unknown soldiers’ of intelligence officers.
Similarly, we can’t ignore the courage, sacrifices and professionalism of the Saudi military and the Arab Coalition to restore the legitimate government in Yemen. Only a few days ago these brave men downed a ballistic missile near the holy city of Makkah, and for over a year and a half have been protecting the Kingdom’s southern borders from Houthi militia attacks which deliberately target civilians.
A few things to note here: Most importantly, we should always remember there is no country in the whole world that is immune to terrorist attacks. The sad truth is that there is nothing that could stop a mad person from deciding to commit mass-murder anywhere, anytime.
However, yesterday’s revelations by the MoI shouldn’t frighten people in the Kingdom; on the contrary, they should reassure us that as we put our children to bed every night, there are those who stay awake and on high-alert to ensure that they remain safe.
Furthermore, those who still insist that the Kingdom secretly supports Daesh should take some time and contemplate over what could have happened three weeks ago at Al-Jawhara Stadium.
It is simply absurd that some people fail to see that — just like Paris, New York or London — Jeddah and Riyadh are also targets of the same terrorists Saudis are wrongly accused of supporting.

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