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8 Arrested in Saudi City After Recruiting for ISIS and Nusra

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The leading Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat found out that 35 young men were recruited and sent to the frontlines in Syria and Iraq and to fight under the flag of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra. They were recruited by a group with at least eight members. The Interior Ministry announced on August 26 that the eightrecruiters had been arrested. 

The incident took place in the city of Tumeir, a city of arounf 15,000 in Al-Mujamar province, around 140 km northwest of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Sources told Al-Hayat that the young men who were recruited were between the ages of 20 and 25 and all of them residents of the area. The recruiters and those who were canvassed for recruitment had a close connection. Those recruited were sent to the battles in Syria in stages, beginning with the first stage of the riots in February 2011.

Al-Hayat took a tour of Tumeir, where they saw security presence in the main streets that were almost empty of people and filled with a tense silence.

The security spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior Major-General Mansur el-Turki said in an announcement published on August 26 that the security forces conducted an operation on August 25 in Tumeir. This operation led to the arrest of the eight citizens who "tempt young men" to join extreme groups abroad. The operation took place after complaints from the custodians of those who were targeted for recruitment. The security forces plan to prove their involvement and take the appropriate measures against them.

The investigation is still ongoing.  

El-Turki said that, according to royal guidelines, a list was made of extreme and ideologically extreme groups and trends, both locally and internationally. He said that the state will punish every person who is a member of, supports or adopts the ideas or customs of these groups in any form, and anyone who is sympathetic to them in any way or who gives them physical or moral support.

People who Al-Hayat spoke with in the city said that the event wasn’t so surprising, especially since those people had been arrested previously by the security forces.

Others refused to talk about the issue until the results of the inquiry become clear and it is proven that those people were involved in recruitment activities. 

Another article on this story shared comments from readers. One from Raid a-Shamri read, "It is a good thing that you arrested them, very nice, but who will stop all of the tempters of the young men on social media like twitter, facebook and What’sApp?"

Another commenter, Hamed, argued, "A basic principle – whoever sympathizes with and supports DAASH is basically adopting the whole mindset of the Muslim Brothers."

The Islamic State has a very sophisticated online recruitment and propaganda arm. They also publish a English language glossy magazine called Dabiq. It is named after a location in Syria that features in Islamic apocalypse mythology. 

 

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David Harris

David Harris is the editor in chief of Clarion Project.