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Saudi paper explores link between Iraq returnees and arrested media cell

BBC Monitoring

Text of report by Saudi newspaper Al-Watan website on 30 November

[Report by Adwan al-Ahmari: "Al-Shihri: Terrorist Electronic Bulletins Indirect Method of Recruitment. Islamic Army's Instructions To Distribute Sada al-Rafidayn Proof of its Plan To Send Saudi Combatants Back to Kingdom"]

Perhaps there was a close connection between the 16-member media cell, which was seized in Medina during a pre-emptive strike by the local security forces two days ago, and Iraq's Islamic Army. This was revealed by several issues of the magazine Sada al-Rafidayn, which urged the Arabian Peninsula's mujahidin - as it called them - to print out and distribute the magazine and establish contact with the Global Islamic Media Front [GIMF], which is under the jurisdiction of the Islamic State of Iraq.

This is an indication that Saudi combatants who infiltrate into Iraq are sent back to their country after they are brainwashed and indoctrinated by the combat groups that, according to the magazine, call themselves the Army of the Right! ly-Guided and the Mujahidin Army, both of which follow the Islamic State of Iraq.

The duties of Medina's cell were limited to printing and distributing issues of Sada al-Rafidayn, carry out continuous incitement on the Internet, and maintain contact with terrorist web sites outside Saudi Arabia. A security expert revealed to Al-Watan that the GIMF's plan to distribute the magazine might be an indication that the combat groups in Iraq wish to return the Saudi combatants in that country to Saudi Arabia.

Dr Fayiz al-Shihri, an Internet specialist, commented on recent issues of Sada al-Rafidayn and their connection with the detained members of the Medina cell. He described them as devoid of ideology or religious discussions and confined to statements issued by the rival combat factions in Iraq and elsewhere.

In an interview with Al-Watan, Al-Shihri said that the chief characteristic of such publications, including Sada al-Rafidayn, is that they use violent and! openly inciting language. They focus on publishing and analysing the news of the armed groups that fight the Americans and on ensuring that such news reaches all those who are interested in it. He added that this is an indirect method of recruitment. It relies on indoctrinating young men and agitating their religious zeal in a wrong way. This is followed by encouraging these young men to read other inciting publications.

He added: "As I said at the start, these publications are used to draw Saudi youths and encourage them to travel to areas of conflict. They are then sent to other countries and are used as pawns in the fighting."

Al-Shihri asserted that most of the statements are directed to Saudi youths, keeping in mind that they use the Internet extensively. This makes terrorist groups focus on them as a primary target.

Al-Shihri praised the Saudi Interior Ministry's recent operation and said that it has succeeded in foiling the misguided factions' destructive plots and incitement. He noted that the security services fores! talled the misguided factions' plans and put despair in the terrorists' hearts.

Source: Al-Watan website, Abha, in Arabic 30 Nov 07



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