Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Jihadi Recruitment in Riyadh Revives Saudi Arabia's Greatest Fear


June 16 (Bloomberg) –- Iraq's capital Baghdad appears safe, for now, from the militants that overran the northern city of Mosul last week amid large-scale defections from an Iraqi Army that the U.S. largely built from scratch. In today's Big Question, Bloomberg's Willem Marx looks into America's investments in the militaries of other countries. Video by: Brian Kartagener. (Source: Bloomberg)
The al-Qaeda breakaway group that has captured Iraq’s biggest northern city is on a recruitment drive in Saudi Arabia.
The evidence showed up last month in Riyadh, where drivers woke up to find leaflets stuffed into the handles of their car doors and in their windshields. They were promoting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has grabbed the world’s attention by seizing parts of northern Iraq. The militant group is also using social media, such as Twitter and YouTube, to recruit young Saudi men.
Already at war with the governments of Iraq and Syria, ISIL also poses a potential threat to the Al Saud family’s rule over the world’s biggest oil exporter. Saudi authorities gained the upper hand in their battle with al-Qaeda, which targeted the kingdom a decade ago, yet analysts said the latest generation of militants may be harder to crush.
ISIL, known as Da’esh in Arabic, has “territorial ambitions and is far more difficult to deal with than al-Qaeda,” Mustafa Alani, an analyst at the Geneva-based Gulf Research Center, said in a telephone interview. “These people are able to hold ground, they have army-like units, and they conduct terrorist attacks.”

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