Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has great stride against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It has already initiated all kinds of legal, political, economic and strategic measures to marginalize the ISIS in the region and around the globe. Its Anti-Terrorism Strategy” has been rated the best to fight against looming threat of terrorism. Its “Anti-Terror Law” has further strengthened its resolve against ISIS. Its diversified but integrated measures in the fields of banking & finance has already diminished the chances/incidents of “money laundering”. Its overall administrative and economic policies have already reduced the chances of “terror financing” in the country.
On philosophical front, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was the first Islamic country to initiate “Dialogue between the Civilization” in order to reduce misconceptions and misperceptions about Islam and Muslims. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was the first Islamic country which donated more than $100 million to establish a anti-counter terrorism center.
The Head of Human Rights Commission (EU) has blasted Iran for its continued infiltration, conspiratorial role and series of proxy war in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), especially Bahrain, Lebanon, Libya, Kuwait and the last but not the least, Yemen. He also blamed Iran in the off-spring of ISIS in Iraq because of its massive involvement in the government of Noor AL-Maliki. Iran dictated Noor’s government and his anti-Sunni policies which resultant mushroom growth of ISIS. Moreover, it has already been revealed in so many international journals, magazines and media that “axis of evil” i.e. Iran and Syria supported and nurtured ISIS to cleansing Sunni in the region. So far Iran did not take any appropriate military action against the onslaught of the ISIS in Iraq which reconfirms its secretive understanding and like-mindedness with them.
On the part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its strategic formation/coalition of 34-Islamic States has already proved its another bold step to cope with the widespread menace of ISIS in the region. It military alliance with Turkey to start “strategic strikes” against ISIS in Syria shows its strong political commitment to fight against ISIS. Its ongoing battel in Yemen was started to restore the legitimate government of the disposed President. Many international intelligence reports and international mass media have indicated “heavy Iranian” involvement in the domestic affairs of Yemen due to which humanity is now at risk and weaker factions of the society are in miserable conditions.
Most recently, Saudi Arabia also announced to send its troops within the soil of Syria in order to speed-up fight against ISIS. All these diversified but integrated efforts and policies are a clear indicator of its resolve against the ISIS.
In order to curb terrorism within its soil, domestically the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia promulgated new “Counter Terrorism Law” titled the “Penal law for Terrorism crimes and financing of Terrorism” which was ratified by the then custodian of the Two Holy Mosques late King Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al Saud after being approved by the cabinet, following the initial proposal by the Interior Ministry and advisory Shura council. It was a major blow to terrorism and it marked the beginning of a new phase in the Kingdom’s counterterrorism strategy.
The law and decree were meant to curb jihadi operations on Saudi soil as well as counter non-jihadi dissidence, Its legal measures showed strong political will and determination to fight against terrorism.
The new law provided the necessary tools to control Saudis wishing to join civil wars and stem the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and ISIS within the country. Moreover, Saudi preachers haD also been put on notice to prevent and discourage young men from going to war, which is a direct violation of the teachings of Islam.
In continuation of the new counter terrorism law, the government of Saudi arabia designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group along with two Shiite groups i.e. Hezbollah and the Houthi movement in Yemen as well as two Sunni formations, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra front.
The royal decree/new counter terrorism law “was based on protecting national security” and that extremists have had been “extremely harmful to public tranquility and the state has no choice but to seek to confront this.”
Declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization would become an effective means to prosecute individuals who plot and execute violent attacks against innocents. Due to its strong political commitments, Saudi Arabia’s counter strategy is now one of the most successful case studies in the Gulf cooperation council (GCC) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and also around the globe.
The new counter terrorism law defined terrorism and provided for tough penalties for fund givers, terrorists and related organizations. Moreover, the new law defined terrorism as any criminal act that “destabilizes the society’s security or the state’s stability or exposes its national unity to harm.” It also stated that terrorist acts included disabling the ruling system or “offending the nation’s reputation or its position.
In order to further strengthening of its strides towards a better society, judicial system, accountability, transparency, and crime control parameters, the council of ministers passed the new counter terrorism law. It further defined terrorism as any act with a criminal motive that directly or indirectly undermined public order and the state’s security and stability, or endangerd national unity.
Terrorism law the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia once again confirmed its rejection and condemnation of terrorism, regardless of its source, motivations or objectives. It can be seen the Kingdom’s contribution and cooperation in international efforts against terrorism, financing terrorism, and its active commitment and implementation of international resolutions issued by the un Security council with regards to combatting terrorism.
It has also effectively participated in regional and international meetings to discuss the issue of combatting terrorism, and criminalizing terrorist acts and those who support it based upon false Islamic rulings. Saudi Arabia took action to develop and strengthened its counter-terrorism organizations and agencies, along with all security agencies involved in counterterrorism operations.
The new counter terrorism law reflected Saudi Arabia strong political commitment to fight against terrorism, extremism and fundamentalism. It provided necessary legal cover to different organs of the state against terrorism.
It outlined different guidelines against money laundry, corruption and financial scams. It upheld the importance of systematic monitoring and supervision of in & out flows of funds to charitable entities in the country, region and around the globe. It streamlined the functions of secret agencies. It expedited the judicial proceedings and upholds the rule of law.
It is a fact that the national narrative varies from time to time and from country to country and special circumstances require special sets of actions and Saudi Arabia new law of counter terrorism was a concrete effort of its government to combat against terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and fundamentalism. Saudi Arabia new “Penal law for Terrorism crimes and financing of Terrorism” demonstrated that the war on terrorism must be fought and won at home as well as abroad. Handling this menace and to prevent future radicalization in the society law enforcement agencies/ officials at all levels of government must work together, sharing information and resources needed both to arrest and prosecute the individuals responsible and to detect and destroy terrorist cells before they can strike again. The preachers of evil and darkness are engaged in destroying elements of sagacity, forbearance, intellect and courteousness from societies. So, the new law of Saudi Arabia is a giant leap to curb the ill designs of terrorists from within the country, the region and from the world.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the champion of anti-terrorism’s regional as well as global drives. It is now epicenter of anti-terrorism economic measures, strong political commitment, legal decrees, and the last but not the least, military operations to eliminate the evil designs and inspirations of ISIS and Iran. It has now become the hub of strategic policies, programs and alliances to cope with ISIS and all other terrorist hatcheries.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands for global peace and better understanding among the different faiths, sects and factions. It never interfered in the domestic issues of any country whereas; Iran has had a long history of infiltration, proxy wars and conspiratorial role in and beyond region. Strategically and tactically, in the ongoing war theater Iran is supporting ISIS and its dangerous activities in the region which is very sad and has regional spillovers effects.