DUBAI (Reuters) - A Saudi suicide bomber with the Islamic State group called on fellow Saudis to wage jihad and expressed hope that the group would expand into Saudi Arabia and “expel the disbelievers from the Arabian Peninsula”, the SITE monitoring service said.
It said the man, identified as Abu Hajer al-Jazrawi, had carried out a suicide bombing in August in Syria’s Raqqa, a bastion of IS. The video was posted on an IS internet feed late on Wednesday.
Addressing his countrymen in an apparent call for attacks not only on the ruling family and Westerners in Saudi Arabia, but also on the kingdom’s senior Muslim clergy who have denounced Islamic State, Jazrawi said:
“It is time to say ‘we will expel the disbelievers from the Arabian Peninsula’. The fire begins with a small spark. That spark will ignite an explosive fire directed at the Saud Family and to their rabbis and priests.”
He called on self-declared Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to lead the advance on the birthplace of Islam.
Saudi Arabia’s top clerical council, the only body in the country authorised to issue fatwas or Islamic legal opinions, declared on Wednesday that “terrorism is a heinous crime”, in the most comprehensive attack the kingdom’s conservative clergy have made so far on Islamic radicalism and Islamic State group.
The United States is seeking the help of Arab countries in combating IS, which is accused of civilian massacres and has posted videos of the beheading of two U.S. journalists and a British aid worker as well as Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers. It has been carrying out air strikes against the group in Iraq.
Riyadh has joined other Arab states in a pledge to combat militant ideology, as part of a strategy to counter Islamic State that has seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.
Dozens of people have been sentenced to long jail terms over the past month for security offences connected to militant attacks in the kingdom last decade, and to efforts to join conflicts in foreign countries.
In February, King Abdullah decreed prison terms for people giving support to extremist organisations or going overseas to fight, following concerns that young Saudis with militant groups in Syria, Iraq and Yemen may eventually target their homeland.
Writing by Yara Bayoumy; editing by Ralph Boulton