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)
Updated 31 October 2016
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Editorial: ‘What a save’ by Saudi security forces

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.


Editorial: A vote of confidence in the new Saudi generation

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)
Updated 22 June 2017
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Editorial: A vote of confidence in the new Saudi generation

The landmark appointment of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince represents a vote of confidence in the Kingdom’s younger generation, which makes up a large majority of the population. The new crown prince was supported by a landslide vote of 31 out of 34 members of the Royal Family’s Allegiance Council.
The decision came in the wake of King Salman making a number of changes over the past two years. He has appointed many young and highly qualified government officials as ministers, ambassadors, provincial governors and deputy governors.
The new direction has also caught on in the private sector, where we have seen a trend in young and qualified executives being hired. It is noteworthy that many of these executives are women, who have the same responsibilities as their male counterparts.
There are, as always, some international observers who will seek to deliberately misinterpret what has taken place at the top of the Kingdom’s power structure. The fact is, however, that former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif endorsed the decision in a letter to the king. He was also seen on video by viewers worldwide congratulating the new crown prince in person.
That Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made his impression on the world is evident from the number of congratulatory messages that have been sent in, including one by US President Donald Trump, who congratulated him and said he was looking forward to consolidating the Saudi-American partnership.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, in her congratulatory message, said she is looking forward to working with Prince Mohammed “to deepen our close bilateral ties in the years ahead, building on the constructive meetings we had in Saudi Arabia earlier this year.”
The Gulf states of Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and interestingly, even Qatar, have likewise endorsed the decision.
We can expect more rapid and drastic reforms if we take all of Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s accomplishments when he was deputy crown prince as an indicator of what is yet to come.