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Suicide Bombing Attack on Imam Ali Mosque in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, Kills 21 Worshippers, Condemned as Divisive Design

May 24, 2015 


The scene at Imam Ali Mosque in Al-Qatif after suicide bombing, May 22, 2015 Scene of devastation following the suicide blast inside a mosque in Qatif on Friday, May 22, 2015



Bomber identified as Saleh Al-Qashami

Arab News, 24 May 2015 2:47 am


The suicide bomber in the Qatif mosque blast has been identified as Saleh bin Abdul Rahman Saleh Al-Qashami, who was a Saudi citizen.

Revealing this information, Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, security spokesman of the Interior Ministry, on Saturday said the bomber was wanted by the security authorities for his association with the Islamic State group.

Forensic tests proved that the material used in the blast at the Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb Mosque in the village of Al-Qadeeh was RDX, a deadly explosive.

The speaker, members of the Shoura Council and the Higher Council of Ulema (scholars) have strongly condemned the unspeakable crime.
“This terrorist act runs against the principles of Islam and all human values. It was an act which primarily meant to sow sectarian strife between the people of the Kingdom, and implement a foreign agenda,” Shoura Council Speaker Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh said.

He said the people of the Kingdom would stand united against anyone who tries to sow discord within the community and destabilize the country.
The Kingdom will firmly continue fighting terror, he said, and appreciated efforts exerted by all security forces in foiling terror plots.

“What is important now is that we stop the masterminds behind this cowardly act and arrest them,” Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki told international media following the attack.

Mohamed Al-Jafri, deputy speaker of the Shoura Council, said this criminal act confirms the sick approach followed by a deviant group, which adopted killing and destruction as a means to intimidate people.

Mohammed Al-khnessi, a Shoura member, told Arab News that the attack is an act of terrorism that has nothing to do with Islam. “To target innocent people in a mosque on Friday, while they are attending the congregational prayer, is totally unacceptable,” he said

He pointed out that the leadership under Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is committed to maintaining the country’s security and safety. No one will be allowed to cross the red line, he said.
“I am confident that they will take all measures to bring the perpetrators to book. They will be closely following up on the incident and take swift and right action against the terrorists,” he added.

Such an incident “only strengthens the unity of the Saudi people. As you can see, people from all walks of life went to the site on the day of incident to offer assistance and some went to hospitals to donate blood for the injured,” he said.

“Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih, the governor of the region and community leaders arrived at the site and hospitals to express solidarity with victims.”
Fahad Al-Majid, secretary-general of the Higher Council of Ulema, called on all citizens, scholars and intellectuals to unify ranks and deprive enemies of the chances to destabilize the country hosting the two Holy Mosques.

Khalid bin Mohammed Yousuf, head of the Board of Grievances, said such criminal acts and killing of innocents are not related to Islam since it is a religion of mercy. He described the group behind the carnage as misguided and opposed to the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah.

The Kingdom, under the leadership of King Salman, remains determined to eradicate terrorism while the people of the Kingdom will stand untied against these criminal acts that violate all values, customs and rights, he said.

— Md Al-Sulami, Ibrahim Naffee, Abdul Hannan Tago, Dina Fouad & Sharif M. Taha contributed to this report.

Qatif attack ‘divisive design’

IS-owned suicide blast in mosque kills 21, wounds over 100
Arab News, Saturday 23 May 2015


 A suicide bomber blew himself up during Friday prayer at a mosque in the village of Al-Qadeeh in eastern Saudi Arabia, killing 21 and wounding 100 others.
“A suicide bomber detonated explosives he hid under his clothes as people performed Friday prayer at the Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb Mosque in the village of Al-Qadeeh, in Qatif province,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The explosion killed the suicide bomber and a number of worshippers and injured several others, the ministry added.
“We were doing the first part of the prayer when we heard the blast,” worshipper Kamal Jaafar Hassan told Reuters by telephone from the scene.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh condemned the attack as an attempt to divide the nation.

“We must understand that our country’s enemies want to corrupt and break up the Saudi nation,” he said. Saudis must stand together and not be deceived by the schemes of the enemy, he said.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah Sanad, president of Haia, denounced the attack as a “terrorist crime” and “a failed attempt to divide the nation.”
Slamming the attack, the general secretariat of the Supreme Judicial Council said it was important for citizens to collectively tackle the country’s enemies.
Sheikh Fahad Al-Majed, general-secretary of the Council of Senior Scholars, described it as “a heinous crime.” He said these terrorists “have now proven that they have foreign agendas.”

Al-Majed said Saudis would emerge stronger from this incident and “defeat the terrorists who want to undermine the country’s security, prosperity and stability.”
Ambulances and Civil Defense personnel arrived at the scene, taking the injured to Mudar, Qatif Central and Aramco hospitals,'' a statement of the Health Directorate said. Police investigators also rushed to the scene, collecting evidence.

The dastardly act has unleashed a storm of protests and condemnation from Saudi bloggers on the social media who said that any such act would create a sectarian divide among the fully integrated Saudi society.

“Security authorities will spare no effort in the pursuit of all those involved in this terrorist crime,” an official statement said.
The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the heinous crime. The claim was posted on Twitter with an image of the bomber by an account that is a reliable source, said the BBC.

The terror group also owned up a bomb blast at a Houthi mosque in Sanaa on Friday that wounded 13 people.
“Members of the caliphate in Sanaa have detonated an explosive device in a Houthi mosque in the people's district...which led to the death and injury of many of them “ said the Islamic State.


Saudi king vows to punish those behind suicide attack: agency

Sun May 24, 2015 6:49am EDT

DUBAI, Reuters --

Family members of victims and well wishers are seen after a suicide bomb attack at the Imam Ali mosque in the village of al-Qadeeh in the eastern province of Gatif, Saudi Arabia, May 22, 2015. Reuters/Stringer

DUBAI Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Sunday he was "heartbroken" over a suicide bombing at a Shi'ite mosque in the kingdom that killed 21 people, state news agency SPA reported, a conciliatory statement as sectarian strife intensifies in the region.

Salman said anyone linked to the attack, claimed by the Islamist militant group Islamic State, or who sympathises with it, will be brought to justice.

"We were pained by the enormity of the crime of this terrorist aggression which contradicts Islamic and humanitarian values," the king said in a message to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is also the interior minister.

"Any participant, planner, supporter or sympathiser with this heinous crime will be held accountable, tried and will receive the punishment he deserves," he said.

The bombing in Saudi Arabia came as tensions between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims are on the increase in the region. Some clerics in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and mainstay of its Sunni denomination, are deeply hostile towards Shi'ites, whom they regard as apostates.

A Sunni militant blew himself up in the al-Qadeeh village mosque in Saudi Arabia's heavily Shi'ite east during Friday prayers, in one of the worst attacks in the kingdom in years.

The Saudi Interior Ministry identified the perpetrator as Saleh bin Abdul Rahman Saleh Qashimi, a Saudi citizen wanted for belonging to Islamic State. The militant group had identified him on Friday by a nom de guerre, Abu 'Ammar al-Najdi.

Saudi Arabia is part of an international coalition carrying out bombing strikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria.

Saudi and Gulf governments fear that sectarian wars in Yemen, Syria and Iraq where they and other Sunni Muslim allies are fighting groups close to Shi'ite archrival Iran will radicalize their citizens and harm domestic security.

(Reporting by Omar Fahmy; writing by Sami Aboudi and Noah Browning; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)



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