Many years ago, Saudi Arabia had announced that terrorist activities on its soil would not be tolerated and would be swiftly dealt with an iron fist. The announcement was very clear and without leaving any room for ambiguity, the authorities had specified all those activities on Saudi soil that would be considered as acts of terrorism.
In the November of 1995, the Saudi capital city was awoken by a terrorist attack on a military training installation, in which five Americans and two Indian nationals were killed and many others were injured. Four terrorists linked with Al-Qaeda were arrested. Many Saudis were surprised to experience or witness an attack of such a magnitude in the Kingdom. Prior to that dastardly attack, the streets of Saudi Arabia were considered one of the safest in the world. It was a time when armed policemen or checkpoints along major highways used to be rare sights.
A year later, a more devastating terrorist attack took place in June 1996 that claimed lives of 19 Americans and many other people of different nationalities got injured. Mind you, both these attacks took place much before the 9/11 terrorists attacks in the United States that ultimately changed the course of human history.
Whatever happened following the 9/11 attacks is known to all, as those acts of terror proved to be a major turning point for the world and we subsequently saw a sudden rise of international terrorism in many parts of the world particularly Saudi Arabia. The 9/11 terrorist attacks came after a carefully executed attack on a US naval ship.
The year 2003 saw the beginning of a series of continued terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of many Saudis and expatriates in the Kingdom. And not only that but many attacks targeted vital strategic installations such as housing compounds, foreign diplomatic missions such as the US consulate in Jeddah, oil and gas installations, government buildings and most recently the Kingdom saw attacks on mosques in which many innocent people lost their lives.
The recent attacks in the Kingdom were different in nature, as through those attacks the terrorists wanted to drive a wedge between Saudis and to divide them along sectarian lines.
Saudi Arabia had openly and transparently started a campaign to fight terrorism. Many were arrested and their names were announced. In other words, it wasn’t what people around the world usually read about, i.e. early morning arrests. The arrests were made in the open with immediate clarifications of the arrests. Then all suspects were put in jail that was open to many media outlets and neutral monitors. As a matter of fact, an official committee was monitoring the arrests and was in charge of compensations for any one arrested under suspicious circumstances. The families of the arrested suspected terrorists are furnished with housing and all rents are paid including a priority in health care at major hospitals. But as the attacks continued and many innocent lives were lost, it was time for punishments. It is something that the Saudi government and its people didn’t want but it was the only way to deter future terrorists and to protect the lives and properties of the public. In other words, you can’t feel any sympathy toward the terrorist and forget about the victim. Families and friends of the victims are still suffering from the trauma of losing their loved ones.
On Jan. 2, Saudi authorities announced the execution of 47 convicted terrorists. Their names and crimes were announced to the world. This is a strong message to anyone who tries to disturb the peace in the Kingdom and threaten the public. Many of the executed terrorists were linked to countries who wanted to destabilize Saudi Arabia. The areas surrounding Saudi Arabia are suffering from violence due to the control of terrorist organization such as Daesh and it is the world’s duty to fight and eradicate terrorism in order to live in peace. Terrorists of all hues have to pay for their crimes.