Saudi's grand mufti: IS are Israelis in disguise

Saudi's grand mufti: IS are Israelis in disguise
Islamic State group fighters are actually Israeli soldiers, deep undercover, Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia's controversial head cleric, has reportedly claimed.
2 min read
30 December, 2015
Grand Mufti Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh is known for his controversial statements [AFP]
Saudi Arabia's grand mufti has reportedly claimed that Islamic State group militants are in fact Israeli troops in disguise.

Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh made the claim after IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi threatened Israel in a recent audio statement.

The grand mufti derided the threat, and claimed that Baghdadi's army was all part of an international conspiracy.

"This threat against Israel is simply a lie. Actually, Daesh [IS] is part of the Israeli soldiers," the Saudi Gazette newspaper reported Abdel Aziz as saying.
They cannot be considered as followers of Islam

The grand mufti also claimed that a new Saudi-led 24-nation military coalition against terrorism - described in Riyadh as the Islamic Military Alliance - would end IS' reign of terror.

"They cannot be considered as followers of Islam. Rather, they are an extension of Kharijites, who rose in revolt against the Islamic caliphate for the first time by labelling Muslims as infidels and permitting their bloodletting," Abdul Aziz said.

Despite general suspicions that Riyadh is connected at some level to IS and al-Qaeda militants, both groups have targeted the Saudi royal family's rule in their propaganda.

Saudi Arabia is part of US-led air raids on IS targets in Iraq and Syria, although its military presence is said to have waned as Riyadh's military campaign drags on against Zaydi-Shia Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen.

A number of Palestinian citizens of Israel have reportedly joined IS, which has convinced many in the region to believe that Tel Aviv is behind the extremist group.