Saudi Arabia bombings: Real Planners of the Sunni-Shia Conflict?
Suicide bombers hit three cities of Saudi Arabia on July 4, this year and killed at least four people in the holy month of Ramadan, near the day of Eid al-Fitr. The first attack occurred near the US Consulate in Jeddah. One explosion rocked Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia when a suicide bomber attempted to launch an assault at a Shia mosque. The other suicide bomber detonated a bomb near the security headquarters of the Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque in Medina, the second-holiest site in Islam.
The bombings in Saudi Arabia followed the recent terror attacks in Turkey, Bangladesh, Yemen and Iraq which killed scores of people, and the Islamic State group (Also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) claimed responsibly for these assaults except those conducted in Turkey and Saudi Arabia which are also thought to be carried out by ISIS. Meanwhile, according to a latest report, a suicide bomber riding a motorbike attacked a police station in the Indonesian city of Solo on July 5, leaving one officer injured. Indonesia is the majority Sunni nation, also having Shias.
In case of Bangladesh, assault on the Holey Artisan Bakery (Restaurant) in the diplomatic district of Dhaka, a least 20 hostages and two police officers were killed. It also includes nine Italians, seven Japanese and one American. Bangladesh’s 160 million people are almost all Sunni Muslims.
Western analysts opine that the “ISIS, now under pressure in its core territory of Iraq and Syria from where their militants are on flee owing to the successful military operations led by Russian-supported forces. The group has started missions elsewhere in the world.
However, triple blasts in Saudi Arabia cannot be seen in isolation, as these are part of the secret strategy of some state actors like US, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and India. Their intelligence agencies, especially American CIA and Israeli Mossad and Indian RAW are in connivance with the ISIS militants to obtain the collective and individual interests against Russia, the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, Pakistan and Iran. In these terms, false flag operations such as the terror attacks in Brussels and Paris, including Orlando shooting were part of the same scheme. In fact, there is a co- relationship of the double game and false flag operations.
It is notable that on June 28, 2016, The New York Times wrote, “The mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12 included a curious phrase: false flag…The victims in the shooting? They were “crisis actors” hired to promote the story as a pretext to impose tighter gun restrictions, the theory goes…the term false flag relates to naval warfare when a ship would fly a flag that would conceal its true identity as a way to lure an enemy closer. Today, it is commonly a shorthand for an act of deception…conspiracy theorists have applied the label to high-profile attacks, including the shootings by a husband and wife last year in San Bernardino, Calif, that killed 14…the phrase has even been used to doubt the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.”
In an interview with Brazilian TV on June 14, 2016, the ex-wife of the Orlando shooter Omar Mateen Sitora Yusufiy disclosed that American FBI pressurized her to keep quiet about his homosexuality. Since the attack, Mateen has been dubbed an Islamic terrorist by the politicians, senior officials and commentators in the US, following reports he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, as they wanted to downplay the personal and self-hating nature of the assault.
Similarly, Bangladesh which has been entrapped by India left no stone unturned in implementing propaganda against Pakistan. As regards the terror assault on the Dhaka restaurant, Home Minister of Bangladesh Asaduzzaman Khan blamed homegrown Islamist terrorists and Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI and added, “there is no IS or al-Qaeda presence in Bangladesh…the hostage-takers were all home-grown terrorists and not members of IS or any other international Islamist outfits.” This statement was opposite to the top officials of the country, who has claimed that ISIS exists in Bangladesh. However, availing the opportunity, Indian media also began a campaign, accusing ISI in this respect.
It is mentionable that on January 13, 2015, at least seven personnel of the Afghan security forces died during the suicide attack which targeted the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad. The ISIL claimed responsibility for the terror assault which coincided with efforts to restart the suspended peace process with Taliban insurgents. Pakistani sources suggested that Indian secret agency RAW was behind this terror attack to thwart these peace talks. On May 21, 2016, the CIA-operated drone strike killed the Chief of the Afghan Taliban Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Nushki, Balochistan province of Pakistan. After the incident, Afghan Taliban leaders refused to participate in the US-sponsored talks with the Afghan government. Notably, in the recent past, with the help of Pakistan, a series of meetings were held in Islamabad and Kabul among the representatives of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US to develop an understanding for the earliest possible resumption of stalled talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban with view to ending nearly 15 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan. This latest strike by the US predator in Balochistan gave a greater setback to peace process for Afghanistan under the Quadrilateral Coordination Group framework.
While, the US, China and Pakistan are jointly working to facilitate the process so as to bring peace both in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the whole region. But, Washington is playing double game with Pakistan, because it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World, which irritates America, India, Israel and some Western partners of the US. Hence, secret agents of CIA, Mossad and RAW which are well-penetrated in the ISIS, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are using the militants of these terrorist outfits to destabilize Tibetan regions of China, Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan, Pakistan’s province of Balochistan and Central Asia (Russian interests) by arranging the subversive activities to promote acrimonious sense of dissent, sectarian violence and to arouse sentiments of separatism. In this regard, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is their special target. Collectively or individually, these intelligence agencies are also assassinating, Jundullah (God’s soldiers)—the Sunni militant group which is active in Balochistan against Shias. Besides martyring several personnel of Pakistan’s security agencies in the province, these foreign-backed entities kidnapped and massacred many innocent people, including Chinese and Iranian nationals.
It is of particular attention that the US had planned to spark a civil war between the Sunnis and Shias in wake of fake global war on terror to obtain the illegitimate interests of the Zionist Jews and Israel. For the purpose, a study of Rand Corporation, titled ‘US Strategy in the Muslim World After 9/11’ was conducted on behalf of the then US Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Force. Its report which was released on December 27, 2004 advocated that Sunni-Shia sectarian division should be exploited to promote the US objectives in the Muslim World. The report was first implemented in Iraq. CIA also got the services of Mossad to fuel sectarian violence in Iraq. In 2004, major terror-attacks were carried out against the Shias. Afterwards, a chain of Shia-Sunni clashes started between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis, targeting each other’s mosques and religious leaders through bomb blasts, suicide attacks etc. After Iraq’s experiment, more deadly pattern of sectarian strife and clashes was conducted in Pakistan.
While hinting towards US and Israel, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had revealed, “The bloody actions being committed in Iraq, Pakistan and Iran are aimed at creating a division between the Shias and Sunnis…those who carry out these terrorist actions are directly or indirectly foreign agents.”
Pakistan’s leading Ulemas (Religious scholars) of the Shia-Sunni sects, including politicians have repeatedly pointed out that external conspiracies were being hatched to destroy peace in the country though sectarian divide.
Meanwhile, rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran widened in the aftermath of the execution of the prominent Shia religious leader Nimr al-Nimr as part of Riyadh’s executions of 47 persons on terrorism charges, on January 2, this year. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries like Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, including Sudan broke off diplomatic relations with Iran.
The long rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran came to a boiling point, as rulers and religious leaders of both the countries were accusing each other of promoting sectarian divide in the Islamic World on the Shia-Sunni basis, while manipulating Arab-non-Arab differences.
The debate accelerated in Pakistan regarding terrorism, sectarian divide, Saudi Arabia, ISIS etc. The opposition leaders like Imran Khan said that Pakistan should offer mediatory role in defusing the tension between Riyadh and Tehran. They pointed out that aligning with the Saudi-led counter terrorism alliance may spark sectarianism in the country and the region.
Besides, Pakistan’s media commentators openly remarked on the TV channels that ISIS was created by the US, and like America, Saudi Arabia wants to change the Syrian regime of Assad—also due to the reason that Syria is a Shia country. They also said that no Shia-country has been included in the so-called alliance of Saudi Arabia to fight ISIS. And as to why Islamabad does not join the Russian-led genuine coalition to fight the ISIS terrorists.
Particularly, a senior media analyst of Pakistan, Najam Sethi elaborated that Saudi Arabia have, in fact, decided to promote sectarian divide in the Muslim World.
When Pakistan’s opposition parties lashed out at the government in the National Assembly for not coming up with a clear stance on the situation, arising out because of the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran and called for a parliamentary briefing on the issue so as to make efforts to prevent Sunni-Shia conflict in the region, Adviser to Pakistan’s Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz stated before the National Assembly. “The Muslim World faces grave dangers in the situation…Pakistan will continue to play its positive role to ease tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and it advocates unity among the Muslim countries.”
For the purpose, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif had visited Saudi Arabia and Iran. They held meetings with their rulers in a bid to defuse tensions between the two countries. They called for resolution of the crisis through peaceful means in the larger interest of the Muslim world. In this respect, Islamabad decided to appoint a focal person on Saudi-Iran issue.
Knowing the double game of the US-led some Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, including Turkey which are assisting the Sunni-based militant outfit ISIS with money and weapons to oust the Shia-government of Syrian President Assad, and which also seem determined to promote Sunni-Shia conflict in the Muslim World, in the recent past, Islamabad refused to send its troops in Syria to fight against the ISIS. Similarly, last year, despite the insistence of Riyadh, Islamabad did not join the Saudi-led coalition which had been conducting air strikes on Yemen. Instead, Pakistan’s parliament had passed a unanimous resolution which stated, “The war in Yemen is not sectarian in nature, but has the potential of turning into a sectarian conflict which will have critical fallout in the region including Pakistan.” It urged the government “to stay neutral in the Yemen” conflict and called upon “warring factions in Yemen to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue.”
On December 15, 2015, Saudi Arabia announced a 34-state Sunni-based military alliance to fight the ISIS. The alliance included Islamic states such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, and some African states, with a joint operations centre established in Riyadh. The name of Pakistan was also mentioned in the list. Washington immediately welcomed the alliance. On December 17, 2015, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry stated that he was surprised to read the news that Saudi Arabia had named Pakistan as part of the alliance, without Islamabad’s permission.
It is worth-mentioning that Saudi rulers have been accusing Iran of fueling sectarianism and division in the Islamic World by backing Yemen, Syrian regime and Hezbollah. But, ground realities are quite opposite, as from the very beginning, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah which have always supported the right of self-determination of the Palestinians by condemning continued atrocities of Israel on them—have been showing solidarity with the PLO and Hamas which are Sunni groups.
Confused due to his own double game and that of the US-led Israel, which Ankara also implements, while talking about the Istanbul Airport terror attacks of June 28, Turkish President President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on July 2, 2016 that President Assad was a more advanced terrorist than the Islamic State group, despite the deadly attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport which Turkish officials blamed on ISIL. There is another contraction, as a Turkish official told the AP that the “three bombers who carried out the attack on Istanbul’s main airport had connections to Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan,” having links with the ISIL.
Like Turkey, Saudi Arabian rulers who have already been funding the ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front and the rebel groups in accordance with the directions of Israel and CIA have been fighting for survival of their kingship. Hence, they do not bother for division of the Islamic World on sectarian lines. In pursuance of the Israel-led American secret strategy, Saudi Arabia has chosen the path of leading unrest in the Middle East. But, Riyadh must know that more chaos in the Middle East will also envelop Saudi Arabia, culminating Saudi monarchy.
Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia is being deeply respected by the Islamic countries, as it is the custodian of the two Holy Mosques. But, it is very shocking for all the Muslims that it has decided to promote sectarian divide in the Muslim World by manipulating the terror attacks in Saudi Arabia. Whenever suicide attack hit Saudi Arabia, Saudi rulers propagate that holy places of Mecca and Medina are under threat. The main aim behind is to get the sympathies of general masses of the Muslim countries against Shias, Iran, Syria and Russia which have exposed the US phony war in Syria and Turkish-Saudi support to ISIS. While Syrians, Yemenis and Iranians are also Muslims and respect the holy places of Saudi Arabia like the Sunni Muslims. But, they are against the Saudi-led Israeli policy.
Undoubtedly, we can conclude that the US, Zionist Jews, Israel, India, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are the real planners who want to cause the Sunni-Shia conflict in the Islamic World in order to obtain their covert collective and individual interests.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations