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

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.”

Saudi efforts for promotion of human rights lauded

Updated 10 December 2019

Saudi efforts for promotion of human rights lauded

  • Saudi Arabia has spent more than $86 billion in over 81 countries between 1996 and 2018

RIYADH: Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, president of the Kingdom’s Human Rights Commission, said on Tuesday Saudi Arabia is keen to play a constructive role to maintain international peace and security, prevent conflicts and promote a culture of tolerance.
He said this during a meeting with Marielle de Sarnez, who is a member of the French National Assembly, in Riyadh.
They reviewed Saudi efforts in supporting human rights and the ongoing reforms in the Kingdom with a particular reference to the protection of human rights.
The French politician praised the developments taking place in the Kingdom in all sectors particularly human rights and women’s empowerment.

Saudi assistance
On the occasion of Human Rights Day, which is observed globally on Dec. 10, Al-Awwad said: “(Protection of) human rights is an issue of great international concern especially in the light of the rise in wars, intolerance, terrorism, hatred and racism.”
Highlighting the Kingdom’s role in humanitarian causes, the rights chief said that Saudi Arabia has spent more than $86 billion in over 81 countries between 1996 and 2018.
Commenting on the Kingdom’s keenness to preserve global and regional peace, he cited the Riyadh agreement between the legitimate Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council as an example.
He reiterated the Kingdom’s historical stance on the Palestinian issue.

The Human Rights Commission organized on Tuesday a symposium titled “Human Rights, A Vision for the Future” in Riyadh.
Professionals in the field of human rights from inside and outside the Kingdom participated in this symposium, which was attended by a number of diplomats.
The symposium highlighted the Kingdom’s role in protecting and promoting human rights in accordance with its national and international commitments in this field. It also shed light on the Kingdom’s cooperation with various human rights organizations and reviewed the importance it attaches to the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law, safeguarding the rights of subjects of law, and respecting the course of justice.
The symposium discussed the most prominent developments in human rights during the reign of King Salman, safeguarding the privacy and rights of children in light of the digital age, and providing protection to the elderly as well as the challenges facing providing them with a suitable environment.
Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Khayyal, vice president of the Human Rights Commission, emphasized in a speech he delivered on behalf of the commission’s president, Dr. Al-Awwad, that Saudi Arabia, led by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has made strides in the field of human rights.
“Saudi Arabia works continuously to achieve sustainable development through Vision 2030, in which the youth actively participate and play a major role in positive social change to contribute to more development achievements,” he said.
UN Resident Coordinator Nathalie Fustier stressed in her speech that the Kingdom has made many achievements in the field of human rights and that these efforts deserve to be saluted.
She added that the youth account for 25 percent of the Kingdom’s population and are the heart of society as they create the future of the next generations.
Fustier pointed out that at a global level, all development goals stipulate the protection of rights, including the rights of young people as they deserve many advantages and must be provided with the maximum benefits and more than the well-being and rights they have.