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Bin Laden’s Home Country Faces Growing Daesh and Al-Qaeda ‘Menace’


The home country of Osama bin Laden has largely remained secure at a time when al-Qaeda and Daesh have wreaked havoc in the Middle East and beyond, but recent developments indicate that radical groups will become more active in Saudi Arabia, fueling fears that authorities will not be able to contain the terrorist threat.

“Aside from a failed 2006 assault on the Abqaiq oil collection and processing facility, an amateurish attack in 2007 that killed three French citizens, and a foiled assassination attempt against Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in 2009, Saudi Arabia has been eerily quiet,” Texas-based think tank Stratfor detailed.

It all changed in 2015 when terrorists affiliated with Daesh launched a bombing campaign in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, mostly populated by the Shia. Since then, attacks have become more frequent and their geography is expanding, with many taking place in the capital and Sunni-populated areas.

The terrorist threat will likely become even worse as Daesh and al-Qaeda’s affiliates lose ground in Syria. Seasoned fighters, many of whom hail from Saudi Arabia, could return home.

Like al-Qaeda militants, Daesh “fighters could use their honed skills to conduct more complex and strategic attacks. Both groups have a history of attacking tourist attractions in Egypt and Tunisia to undermine those nations’ economies. A more sophisticated Islamic State campaign might echo previous al-Qaeda initiatives, targeting expatriates to impair the Saudi economy,” the analysts warned.

Daesh presents a “growing menace” to Saudi Arabia, but there is an additional challenge – al-Qaeda’s deadliest offshoot, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). This is the group that claimed responsibility



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