Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry has issued a new list of 47 most-wanted Saudi terrorists linked to al Qaeda. All of the 47 most-wanted leaders and fighters belonging to al Qaeda are outside of the Saudi kingdom.
Mansour al Turki, the spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, announced the names of most-wanted Saudis at a press conference in Riyadh on Jan. 9. A list was sent to Interpol last week.
Turki said the Saudis are “extremely dangerous,” according to The Saudi Gazette, which also published the photos of the 47 wanted terrorists.
“They have had training in the use of arms, and some of them have had leadership roles in al Qaeda,” Turki said.
According to Turki, none of the 47 al Qaeda operatives are in the Kingdom. Twenty-seven of them are thought to be in Pakistan and Afghanistan, 16 are thought to be in Yemen, and four more are believed to be in Iraq.
Missing from the current list of most-wanted Saudis are some of the top leaders of al Qaeda, including Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda; Osama’s sons, Mohammed, Said, and Hamza bin Laden, both of whom hold senior leadership positions; Sheikh Saeed al Saudi, Osama’s brother-in-law and a senior al Qaeda leader; Said al Shihri, the deputy leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; and Shaykh Muhammad Abu Fa’id, a top financier and a manager for Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia.
Several Saudi al Qaeda leaders, some of whom were not on the kingdom’s previous lists of most-wanted terrorists, have been killed in Afghanistan and Yemen over the past year. In a propaganda tape released last fall, al Qaeda announced the deaths of commanders Abu abd al Rahman al Madani, Abu Salamah al Najdi, and Luqman al Makki. The three Saudis were said to have been killed in Afghanistan. A US airstrike in Kunar province in September 2010 killed Sa’ad Mohammad al Shahri, a longtime jihadist and the son of a retired Saudi colonel.
In December 2010, Yemeni security forces killed Abu Hammam Qahtani, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s propagandist, who founded the terror group’s media arm. Qahtani was wanted by the Saudi government.