Revealed: How Saudi special forces captured Yemen’s Daesh chief in daring 10-minute raid

Ten minutes was all that Saudi special forces needed to capture Yemen's Daesh leader Abu Osama Al-Muhajir and other key terrorists on June 3, but it took them weeks to prepare for the successful operation. (Supplied photo)
Updated 27 June 2019
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Revealed: How Saudi special forces captured Yemen’s Daesh chief in daring 10-minute raid

JEDDAH: The daring raid that captured Daesh’s leader in Yemen was meticulously planned for almost a month, and executed in a 10-minute early-morning blitz on his home by Saudi special forces, security sources have told Arab News.

Abu Osama Al-Muhajir — known during the operation as “the special catch” — was arrested on June 3, along with the terror group’s finance officer and a number of other Daesh fighters. Their capture was kept secret for 22 days so that investigators could complete inquiries and confirm their identities.

The operation began, as sensitive security operations often do, with intelligence. Sources reported that Al-Muhajir was living in a house in a Yemeni village, with other terrorists and their wives and children. The house was placed under surveillance, and Daesh’s presence confirmed.

“The mission commander was selected, one of the most prominent officers of the Special Security Forces, who in his turn chose the individuals participating in the mission. All have had advanced training in this kind of dangerous operation,” a source told Arab News.

“They put together a three-stage plan to ensure the veracity of the intelligence, the completion of the task in the fastest way possible without causing any harm to people living nearby or exposing the members of the force to any harm, and exiting the site taking those arrested to a safe area.”

Stage one of the operation involved constant monitoring of the house to check people’s comings and goings, and the quantity and quality of weapons they were likely to have, including bombs.

The monitoring stage complete, the mission commander set the operation for 9:30 a.m. on June 3, the last day of Ramadan. “The time was chosen for several reasons, most importantly because during Ramadan, people eat the suhoor meal before dawn and go back to sleep afterwards, and the sleeping schedule of the people inside the house had been carefully studied,” a source said.

Ten minutes was all that Saudi special forces needed to capture Yemen's Daesh leader Abu Osama Al-Muhajir and other key terrorists on June 3, but it took them weeks to prepare for the successful operation. (Supplied photo)

 

“The operational plan was finely tuned to minimize collateral damage from the raid, and arrest the terrorists while ensuring the safety of the women and children inside the house. Approval was given for the execution.

“The Force Commander informed his colleagues of the method of attack and execution, and  the method of withdrawal after execution or in the event of any emergency.

“When the time came, the execution of the second phase of the plan took place, attacking and raiding the house at exactly 9:20 a.m. The operation met no resistance and the special forces arrested all those in the house. Within 10 minutes of the raid, the entire mission was complete, which included arresting people, confiscating any weapons in the house, and getting out.”

The third stage was transporting the “precious catch” to a safe area away from any danger, either from Daesh agents or other terrorist organizations, including the Iran-backed Houthi militias. This also went perfectly as planned.

Saudi special forces are trained, by leaders in the field worldwide, in how to plan and execute such sensitive tasks with speed and precision, and safely. The success of this operation came as no surprise to the Yemeni political analyst Abdullah Ismail.

“It demonstrates the extraordinary capabilities of the Saudi forces in particular and the Arab coalition forces in general, carrying out such delicate operations, the result of intelligence work and the success of surveillance, which led to the arrest of a person in 10 minutes without causing any injuries to civilians or to the participating forces,” he told Arab News.

“This operation is a serious blow to Daesh, which became active to some extent after the overthrow of the Yemeni state through the Houthi coup.”


Muslim World League chief honored for strengthening ties between Islamic world, Russia

Updated 24 July 2019
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Muslim World League chief honored for strengthening ties between Islamic world, Russia

 

MOSCOW: The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences has awarded the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, an honorary doctorate in recognition of his efforts to strengthen the relationship between the Islamic world and Russia.

Prof. Vitaly Naumkin, the director of the institute, who represents one of the most well-known academic institutions in the world over the past 200 years, talked about Al-Issa’s career, noting that he has contributed to the promotion of cultural rapprochement among nations through his visits to countries and his connections with different cultures and religions.

Naumkin said that the principles of moderation adopted by the MWL and its secretary-general contributed to the establishment of security in the world, noting that these principles addressed extremism and violence.

The honorary doctorate was given to Al-Issa for his services in the development of Islamic jurisprudence and improving official and popular relations between Russia and the Islamic world, he said.

The MWL secretary-general said that he was proud to receive the honorary doctorate from an institute that is well-known for its dedication and neutrality.

He also praised the Russian Federation’s care for Arab and Islamic culture and its keenness to communicate with the Muslim world, learn its language and understand its culture.

Al-Issa considered the award to be motivation to work on promoting cultural communication and exchange between the Islamic world and Russia.

He said that the institute has contributed to changing the stereotype of Orientalism in the Muslim world and has encouraged cultural communication between nations and peoples.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Russian presidency, the Duma and the Senate, as well as high-ranking diplomats, senior academics of Orientalism, religious leaders and a group of researchers and students.