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    Muslim worshippers gather after a suicide bomber detonated a device near the security headquarters of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia, July 4, 2016

    Targeting Their Own? Daesh Attacks on Muslims on the Rise

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    As the fighting against Daesh continues, the terror group has increased its nefarious activities. Recently, a number of attacks have rocked Muslim states, from Turkey to Saudi Arabia. Why do violent Islamic extremists attack fellow members of the faith?

    "[Daesh] announced before the month of Ramadan that they are going to make this Ramadan especially violent, in order to make the group heard and in response to ongoing battles, in particular to what is happening in Fallujah, but also the battles that are ongoing in Syria itself and Libya," Dr. Theodore Karasik, analyst on regional geo-political affairs and Senior Advisor to Gulf State Analytics, a geo-strategic consultancy based in Dubai, UAE, told Radio Sputnik. "They try to send the message to the observer that ideology in the group is robust and alive."

    Speaking about attacks in other Muslim states, including Turkey, Iraq and Bangladesh, Karasik identifies what he calls the "splatter effect." As Daesh is forced out of Syria, Libya and Iraq, the group seeks new territories in which to operate and to conduct attacks.

    While the Baghdad attack might seem a logical revenge for the push in Fallujah, the attacks in Turkey and Saudi Arabia are more surprising, considering that, until recently, both countries allegedly supported Daesh. Karasik suggests that Turkey is "reaping the benefits of its non-policy towards Daesh and other extremist groups," and that the attack in Turkey could be a message to the Turkish government. But some feel that the attack could be an attempt to create enough chaos in Turkey for Daesh to "build some kind of presence in that country."

    Speaking about attacks in Saudi Arabia during the last, most sacred days of Ramadan, Karasik opines that Daesh is trying to both send a message to the Saudi king that it has successfully penetrated the realm, including sacred places, and is challenging the king's custodianship of the Holy Mosques.

    There are additional complications, Karasik observed. After the fall of oil prices, Saudi Arabia was forced to take emergency measures, such as its "Vision 2030" announcement, aimed to transform the country's economy. Karasik describes the position of the country's king as one of "being at a crossroads" regarding the course of the country over the next decades. Thus, attacks in Medina and Qatif may be aimed to scare away investment, undermine reforms and, subsequently, damage the position of the king within the state and abroad.

    These attacks pose new challenges to the monarchy's security services, who "clearly need to work harder" to mitigate Daesh ideology. There exists also the possibility that some degree of sympathy toward Daesh exists in the kingdom's security forces. This was the case in a Kuwaiti plot that was successfully interrupted recently, where one of the plotters was a Kuwaiti policeman.

    Karasik warns that extra vigilance will be needed over the next few days, including for Eid al-Fitr on July 6 as, according to Daesh and other violent religious extremist ideology, murdering yourself within the last days of Ramadan grants terrorists "some extra respect in their martyrdom."

     

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    Tags:
    terror attacks, Terrorism, Eid al-Fitr, Ramadan, Daesh, Theodore Karasik, Bangladesh, Iraq, Medina, Saudi Arabia, Turkey
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    • The Night Wind
      It wouldn't surprise me if Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are behind these attacks themselves to throw off world suspicion that they are state-sponsors of terrorism.
    • avatar
      terryjohnodgers
      This article only analyses the strategic aspect of what fundamentalist Islam does to entrench itself in other Islamic and non-Islamic states. First one must consider that ISIS or Daesh, or whatever you prefer to term them, is practising the fundamentalist strategy that Islam has practised ever since its inception and that while the Qu'ran forbids Muslim killing Muslim, those Muslims who believe they practise the most fundamentalist teachings of Mohammed also believe their version of Islam is the only version worth upholding and that all other Muslims or Islamic sects, who do not share in their fundamentalism, are then considered to be apostate Muslims and must be killed if a fundamentalist Islamic Caliphate is ever to be established.

      The West's greatest folly is to recognize Islam as a 'religion'. Islam may have religious aspects to its dogma and ideology, but judging on Western standards of what a religion means, Islam is most definitely not just a religion.

      And if a moderator wishes to remove this comment as somehow being 'offensive' or 'disingenuous' in its presentation, may I first ask you to look up the meaning of religion and then compare that meaning to fundamentalist Islam before making decision?
    • avatar
      revsuzanne
      Islam is a whole social control system.
      Secondly... the US created the Al Qaida network while the Soviet Union was in Afghanistan... in recent years, with the help of MI6 and Mossad, the CIA has since morphed it into a whole string of spinoffs... Al Nusra, IS, ISIS, Boko Haram, etc.
      The Saudis are attacking countries all around them, and financing the psychotics from among their own population to keep them away from Saudi, otherwise they'd be overthrowing the Saudi "royal" family.
      The CIA found a series of populations that were easy enough to bomb back into the stone age and then manipulate them into destroying everything around them, including their most holy cities.
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