A political activist has revealed the fabricated nature of claims made by Saudi officials about one of their counterterrorism operations against two extremist cells in Riyadh and the western city of Jeddah.
The activist, known as Mojtahed in cyberspace, has disputed the statement released by the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry that claims the suspect at the center of an alleged operation in Riyadh “lost his left hand while preparing explosive chemicals to carry out criminal attacks targeting security forces, citizens, and foreign residents, as well as public installations," the Arabic-language Al-Alam news network reported.
Mojtahed stated that the 21-year-old muezzin of Riyadh’s al-Khalil Ibrahim Mosque, identified as Ahmed Khalid Ahmed al-Duweish, actually suffered severe burns on his left hand in a gas cylinder explosion two years ago.
He had to receive treatment at a hospital, where some of his fingers were amputated due to the severity of the burns. Duweish remained in hospital for two months.
Mojtahed also said that Duweish is the son of a political dissident, who has been held in the al-Ha’ir prison of Riyadh, along with fifteen other relatives, for the past nine years.
He added that a police officer, who had noticed Duweish’s amputated fingers, decided to fabricate a story about him several days after his arrest on August 9.
Alarm bells started to ring when the news first broke and Deputy Saudi Interior Minister Mohammad bin Nayef had to keep a lid on the matter, as he realized that Duweish had been receiving medical treatment for the past two years and medical reports could irrefutably disprove the allegations that he was involved in terrorist activities.