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Taliban condemns suicide attack in Medina, Saudi Arabia
The Taliban has condemned a July 4 suicide attack that targeted security personnel in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Four Saudi guards and five others were wounded in what the Taliban describes as "an act of enmity and hatred towards Islamic rituals."
The Taliban's condemnation is not surprising. Taliban leaders and financiers have long raised funds inside Saudi Arabia to support their jihad in Afghanistan. Additionally, the attack may have been executed by the Islamic State, the Taliban's only jihadist rival in Afghanistan.
Yesterday's attack in Medina was one of three bombings inside Saudi Arabia. Jihadists also targeted the US Consulate in Jeddah and a mosque in the eastern city of Qatif. Two security guards were wounded in the two attacks in Jeddah and Qatif. The Saudi Interior Ministry identified the Jeddah suicide bomber as a Pakistani known as Abdullah Qalzar Khan.
"It is with great sadness to have learnt that an attack has taken place against the guards of the Prophet's Mosque in the holy city of Medina, causing multiple casualties," the Taliban says in a statement released today on its official website, Voice of Jihad. "The Islamic Emirate [Taliban] - which has been shocked by this gruesome act - condemns this incident in the strongest of terms and considers it an act of enmity and hatred towards Islamic rituals. Such acts in al Haram al Nabawi [the Medina mosque] can never be tolerable."
"Al Haramain al Sharifain (The Two Holy Sanctuaries [in Mecca and Medina]) holds a collective value for every Muslim and no act of hostility towards it can ever be acceptable or tolerated," the statement continues. "This crime has shown us just how cruel and full of hatred the plots of our enemies are towards our religious sanctums."
The Taliban did not name its "enemies," but it may be referring to the Islamic State, which is thought to have executed the attacks in Saudi Arabia. No group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings. The Taliban has denounced the Islamic State in the past for sowing divisions within the jihadists' ranks in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The statement did not mention or condemn the two suicide bombings against the US Consulate in Jeddah and a mosque in the eastern city of Qatif.
The US government's designations of Taliban and Haqqani Network leaders over the past decade have repeatedly noted that they travel to the Saudi Kingdom for fundraising purposes, including on behalf of al Qaeda. The Haqqani Network is a Taliban subgroup and its operational leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is the deputy emir of the Taliban.
Taliban luminaries and notables who have traveled to Saudi Arabia to fundraise include: Nasiruddin Haqqani, Torek Agha, Saidullah Jan, Amir Abdullah, Yahya Haqqani, Khalil Haqqani, and Fazl Rabi.
[Source: By Bill Roggio, The Long War Journal, NJ, 03Jul16]
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