Al-Qaeda threatens Saudi Arabia over execution of prisoners

Al-Qaeda threatens Saudi Arabia over execution of prisoners
2 min read
01 December, 2015
Al-Qaeda's franchise in Yemen has vowed to take revenge against Saudi Arabia if it carries out a mass execution of prisoners, al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic service reported.
Saudi Arabia is facing a rising security threat [Getty]
Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen threatened the Saudi government over Riyadh's plan to carry out a mass execution of prisoners, including al-Qaeda members, the militant group announced in a statement.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP] said it was aware of Saudi intentions to execute its members in Saudi prisons and pledged to carry out attacks in response, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic service.

"We swear to God, our blood will be shed before the blood of our captives, and their pure blood will not dry before we shed the blood of the soldiers of Al Saud," the group said in the statement.

       AQAP has controlled the Yemeni port city of Mukalla since April [Getty]
"We will not enjoy life unless we get the necks of the Al Saud rulers."

Local media reported last week that Saudi authorities planned to execute more than 50 people convicted of "terrorist crimes".

Among the al-Qaeda members reportedly set to be executed is Faris al-Zahrani, known by the nom de guerre Abu Jandal al-Azdi, a "chief strategist" behind wave of violence that erupted in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006.

See Also: IS releases propaganda video targeting al-Qaeda in Yemen

AQAP has seized large parts of Hadramawt province in Yemen, where it has imposed a strict version of Islamic law.

The militant group has been in complete control of
     Saudi Arabia has faced a rise in militant attacks in the past year.
Hadramawt's provincial capital Mukalla since April.

The Saudi monarchy has faced a rise in militant attacks in the past year, with the Syria and Iraq-based Islamic state group [IS], claiming responsibility for a string of mosque bombings and shootings.

In late October, an IS suicide bomber killed two people in an attack on a Shia mosque in the southern Saudi city of Najran.

The only people executed for al-Qaeda attacks in the kingdom, which killed hundreds in the last decade, were two men from Chad earlier this year.

Saudi Arabia has executed at least 151 people this year, according to Amnesty International, many of them foreigners convicted of drug-related crimes.

The last time the kingdom carried out mass executions for security offences was after a group of Islamist militants seized Mecca's Grand Mosque in 1979.