3 held in Qatif judge kidnap case

Updated 02 January 2017
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3 held in Qatif judge kidnap case

JEDDAH: Saudi police have arrested three people over the kidnapping of a judge in Qatif, authorities said on Sunday.
A hunt has been launched to nab the other three suspects, according to the Saudi Ministry of Interior.
Ministry security spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said investigations are ongoing into the kidnapping of inheritance and endowments circuit Judge Sheikh Mohammad Al-Jirani.
The judge was kidnapped from near his home on Dec. 15. Security authorities have been investigating the case since receiving a report about Al-Jirani’s disappearance.
Those arrested included Abdullah Ali Al-Darweesh, 25; Mazen Ali Al-Qabaah, 40; and Mustafa Ahmad Al-Sahwan, 25.
The three men, Al-Turki said, were tasked by planners to implement the crime.
The other three, who are on the run and who are wanted in the kidnapping case are: Mohammad Hussein Al-Ammar, 35; Haitham Ali Al-Qudaihi, 29; and Ali Bilal Al-Hamed, 22.
Al-Turki said these three suspects were among the wanted criminals announced last October, for their involvement in a number of terrorism crimes in Qatif and Dammam.
Al-Turki, in a press statement, said preliminary information confirms the wanted criminal, Al-Amar, is the mastermind of the operation and had tasked the arrested individuals to monitor and follow the judge in advance of the kidnapping.
The official confirmed that security authorities still do not have any information about the whereabouts of Sheikh Al-Jirani nor his health condition.
The names of others involved in the crime cannot currently be disclosed due to ongoing investigations.
The ministry warned the perpetrators against harming Al-Jirani, and urged them to release him immediately. Should the judge be subjected to any harm, those involved will be held criminally and fully responsible.
The ministry urged all those who have any information about the wanted individuals, or previous announcements regarding the kidnappers, or information about the location of the kidnapped judge, to contact (900) or the nearest security apparatus.
Should future investigations identify any individual that withheld information or had any involvement in the crime, they will be held accountable and considered a partner in the crime, the ministry said.
Anyone who reports information that leads to the arrest of a wanted criminal will be rewarded SR1,000,000 ($266,600), as per a royal decree of 2003, while any information that leads to the arrest of more than one wanted criminal will be rewarded with SR5,000,000.
A reward of SR7,000,000 will be given to anyone who reports information that leads to the thwarting of a terrorist operation.
Authorities speculate that Al-Jirani’s position in opposition of terrorism occurring in Qatif, Al-Awwamiya, and Dammam, and his calls not to transfer funds collected from Shiites in Saudi Arabia to other countries such as Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon to be spent on the poor may have been the motive for his kidnapping.
Al-Turki clarified that while this is possible, the ministry and security agencies cannot speak on behalf of the kidnappers until they have been arrested, investigated, and Al-Jirani freed.
He also noted that there is currently no information about ties between the kidnapping and the incident involving the attack on the mayor of Tarut.
Al-Turki confirmed those arrested were supporters of the kidnappers, and do not have any information about the whereabouts of Al-Jirani, nor information about other individuals that may be targeted among families of Qatif or Dammam.
He said investigation and security efforts in the Kingdom are not based solely on protecting targeted individuals because the primary targets of terrorists are security people themselves. Last year, security men and military officers at the Ministry of Defense were subjected to five terrorist operations, four of which were direct targets of security men of the Ministry of Interior in Qatif and one that targeted a land forces officer in Tabuk. Thankfully, all the terrorists have met their fate due to the efforts and security strategy to fight such crimes, he said.
He said the consensus is that terrorist incidents that occurred in the Kingdom have been supported from foreign countries and originations, but security staff at the ministry are specialized in combatting terrorism within the Kingdom.
Al-Turki said security agencies monitor and pursue all Saudis that have been lured to go to conflict areas and abroad, and are in regular contact with their families in an effort to convince them to return to the Kingdom.
A royal order was issued criminalyzing travel to conflict zones, with is punishable with a jail sentence of at least three years prior to transfer to Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Counseling and Care Center.
Al-Turki said the number of Saudis abroad has reached nearly 2,100 citizens, including women and children, noting that the fight against terrorism requires the effort of the entire Saudi community in order to combat and promote the negative effects of these extremist ideologies.
He concluded by saying that the escape of the kidnappers abroad is possible, but unlikely, as there is upmost trust in the work of security authorities and agencies at border posts and ports.


Riyadh, Beirut stress need to confront Islamic extremism

Updated 20 June 2019
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Riyadh, Beirut stress need to confront Islamic extremism

  • Saudi-Lebanese Parliamentary Friendship Committee reaffirms the importance of restoring peace and harmony among all Arab countries

BEIRUT: A delegation from the Saudi Shoura Council, headed by Saleh bin Manea Al-Khalewi, began an official visit to Lebanon on Tuesday, meeting President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

It is the first visit of the council to Lebanon, to convene the first meeting of the Saudi-Lebanese Parliamentary Friendship Committee, headed by Tammam Salam.

Aoun praised “the fraternal relations between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia,” and reaffirmed “the paramount importance of restoring peace and harmony among all Arab countries, for the benefit of all,” wishing to establish “peace on solid foundations based on the principle of respect for the vital interests of every country.”

He underlined that political differences should not allow deviation from the principles of the Arab League charter, and hailed Saudi Arabia’s recent decision to lift the ban on its citizens traveling to Lebanon in time for the summer season, hoping that the “Kingdom witnesses further success and growth.

“Lebanon is more than ready to cooperate in all areas to achieve this end, especially in the presence of an important Lebanese community in the Kingdom that contributed to its prosperity,” he added.

Al-Khalewi underscored the “historic relations between the two countries and the two brotherly peoples,” emphasizing the importance of the ongoing support provided by the Kingdom to Lebanon. He also praised Aoun’s keenness to build Arab solidarity and consensus.

The committee discussed means of developing cooperation in legislative sectors in the two countries, serving the goal of greater Arab solidarity. Delegates agreed on the need for stability and peace in Arab countries, and the need to confront Islamic extremism leading to domestic and international acts of terrorism.