Press TV has conducted an interview with Ali al-Ahmed, the director of the IGA in Washington, to discuss a recent bomb attack on a second Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, which killed four people and was claimed by the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: How do you react to this news of a second Shia mosque being bombed within a week?
Ahmed: Well, that shows that the Saudi government is allowing these things to happen and failing to protect the Shia mosques. Although the people in the region have demanded to be allowed to protect themselves, the Saudi government reaction was ‘No, we will not allow you, we will punish anybody who tries to protect their own mosque.’
This is exactly what happened about four days ago, when the Saudi minister of interior warned against anyone trying to protect themselves against terrorist attacks. So, I think this is an attempt by the Saudi government to distract away from its failures in Yemen and to justify its oppression of the people inside the country and to create a Shia-Sunni divide within the country or increase it because the Saudi government fear is the people of that country unite against its existence.
Press TV: Whatever its goals may be Mr. Ahmed, I am wondering isn’t this dangerous so for the Saudi royal family, creating this sort of instability within the country? Could this not backfire upon them?
Ahmed: Well, the Saudis are really masters in political manipulation. They fear that the Sunni majority will turn against them, so they need to make sure that the Sunni majority is fearful of the minority to create an internal enemy that they can unite around. They find from their war in Yemen, they have in some way succeeded in rallying the Sunni majority around the flag, so to speak. So I think they are doing this again to rally their Sunni core supporters around them because their situation in Yemen is not going well, although many people are paying a heavy price but the Saudi aggression against Yemen has failed almost now 80 days after the war started. So, the Saudis need distraction and they need something to support their regime.
Press TV: And just briefly if you can Mr. Ahmad, the Shias obviously will not take all of this lying down, even though they are a minority in the country, so what will the Saudis do about the backlash from the Shias themselves?
Ahmed: Well, I think the Shia community in that country has really started to organize in popular committees to defend themselves against terrorist attacks. And today the number of the victims would have been much greater if it was not for the two heroes Abdul-Jalil al-Arbash and Mohammed [Hassan Ali bin] Isa who stopped that suicide bomber from entering the mosque. The bombing was supposed to happen inside but, thankfully, these young brave men stopped the suicide bomber. They died but they stopped other people from dying. So I think that is what the Shias are going to do - establish popular committees to defend themselves against terrorist attacks, which will continue to happen by the way because these are government-supported or government-allowed attacks.