MEMRI reports, January 5, 2016. By: M. Khayat (Research Fellow at MEMRI). ISIS Campaign Targets Saudi Arabia, Calls For Attacks Against Saudi Monarchy, Shi’ites, And Polytheists

The Islamic State (ISIS) has exerted much effort in the last couple of weeks to attacking Saudi Arabia and its ruling and religious echelons in an extensive and well-coordinated media campaign it launched against it. The campaign included the unprecedented release of 15 official ISIS videos from ISIS’s various provinces … The campaign was aimed at Saudis in general, attempting to “open their eyes” to the Al-Saud’s – the Saudi ruling family… of supposed treachery and corruption. Read more.

Perhaps you’re having difficulty remembering the sides? Here is a help just in case: click here. But why is ISIS waging a specific internet media campaign directed against the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia, the Al-Saud family? Aren’t both Sunni Muslims? (Yes!)  (Daniel 2:41 NASB). Then why the campaign against the ruling family? And why right now, an unbelievable array of fifteen videos, all designed to influence Sunni Saudis against their ruling monarch?

The most recent reason occurred just two weeks ago. The Huffington Post reports:

 01/02/2016 07:59 am ET | Updated 5 days ago, Associated Press Abdullah Al-Shihri and Aya Batraway.  RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday it had executed 47 prisoners convicted of terrorism charges, including al-Qaeda detainees and a prominent Shiite cleric who rallied protests against the government. Read more.

Of the 47 executed, 43 were al-Qaeda who had been in Saudi prisons for periods of ten years or more. Included within the 43 was Faris al-Shuwail, a leading ideologue in al-Qaeda’s Saudi branch who was arrested in August 2004 during a massive crackdown on the group following a series of deadly attacks. Since 43 of the 47 were al-Qaeda, we can understand why al-Qaeda would wage jihad against the ruling royal family. But why ISIS, particularly when ISIS and al-Qaeda are enemies? Remember that both al-Qaeda and ISIS are Sunni Salafist jihadists. They use violence as the means of overcoming the world, and ISIS, in fact, used to be a branch of al-Qaeda. Read more. Both groups consider the ruling family to have aligned with the West and therefore unworthy of rulership. Here are a few of the reasons why the divide between the royal family and the Islamists is so great.

The royal family owns the petroleum resources of the entire Kingdom. No other Saudi individual possesses any rights to the land or its resources. Everything belongs to the royal family. The royal family never purchased the land for fair value. They possess it for one reason: by virtue of blood descent through the first king of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz bin Saud, who in 1932, declared most of the Arabian Peninsula the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (See Islam the Cloak of Antichrist and footnotes)

In Saudi Arabia, there are two “branches” of governance. The political/military branch led by the royal family, the heirs of Muhammad ibn Sa’ud; and the spiritual branch led by the heirs of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. The political branch requires the support of the spiritual branch, and to a lesser degree vice versa. At present, the Wahabbi branch serves as the “spiritual backbone” of the royal family. The grand mufti of Saudi Arabia (spiritual leader) is Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, who leads the support of the royal family. The present monarch is King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud. ISIS’ objective is to delegitimize the royal family as well as its clerics by turning the Sunni populace against them (actually, not as difficult as you might think) and then joining ISIS against the royal family. If they are successful, the largest petroleum reserves in the world are up for grabs. The question becomes who will be the last man standing if the royal family is removed? ISIS, al-Qaeda, or Iran? Perhaps we should also include Russia and the United States of America as two possible options as well.

Most Americans have no knowledge of the great divide in Saudi Arabia between the haves and the have-nots of the Arabian Peninsula. We have already mentioned the ownership of petroleum reserves by the ruling family. Consider the following pay structure for the royal princes:

In an article for Atlantic Monthly magazine, Robert Baer, a 21-year CIA veteran in the Middle East, estimated the Saud family consists of some 30,000 members—a number he says will double within the next generation.  And privilege comes with membership: no need to work (there’s a monthly stipend for the 3,000 to 4,000 princes, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars each); unlimited flights aboard Saudi Arabian Airlines; and first dibs (not to mention low prices) on land expropriated by the kingdom. …

The Royal family has long been seen by Islamist Sunni Muslims as “bed-fellows” with the Great Satan, America. In an interview with Peter Arnett, the late Osama bin Laden described the royal family as:

“… but a branch or agent of the U.S.  By being loyal to the US regime, the Saudi regime has committed an act against Islam. And this, based on the ruling of sharia, casts the regime outside the religious community.” (Bruce Lawrence, Editor, Messages to the World, the Statements of Osama bin Laden, p 45.)

Al Qaeda was formed by Osama bin Laden and others sometime around 1988. Its current leader is Ayman Muhammad al-Zawahiri who leads al Qaeda’s global jihad efforts. ISIS and al-Qaeda are enemies of each another, but both consider the Saudi regime to be an even greater enemy. Following America’s use of Saudi airfields in Operation Enduring Freedom against Saddam Hussein in 2003, the House of Saud has been increasingly seen by Sunni Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula as a spiritual harlot against Islam.

From the hadith collection of ibn Hanbal, vol 5, book 3, no 5409, we read, “Banish the polytheists from the Arabian Peninsula.” The House of Saud has not only allowed the polytheists (Americans) into Arabian lands, it has partnered with them. In the partnership, the regime has committed a spiritual harlotry against Islam.

Have you ever considered that Revelation 17’s “harlot” is not referring to a spiritual harlotry against God and His only begotten, but against the “beast” that the harlot rides? (Revelation 17:3-4). Many have interpreted the harlot to be the Roman Catholic Church (a view I do not hold to).1 Conversely, many of us who hold to the Islamic paradigm interpret the beast to be Islam, either the Mahdi, the coming Islamic caliph who will rule all of Islam, or some other manifestation thereof, such as the Ottoman Empire that rises up after having fallen (or Mecca, the “city” of Revelation 17:18). The point, then, is that the al-Saud royal family has been accused of just such a harlotry; and, the Scripture foretells that this harlot will be defeated by ten nations/groups/organizations of the same persuasion as the harlot (Muslim). If this view is correct, we are quite likely seeing the beginning stages of the ten nation coalition that will rise up together to be given authority for “one hour” (Revelation 17:12 NASB) to destroy the harlot. Of course, the ten nation group does not have to be all Sunni nor all Muslim. Iran will likely be in this group, and possibly, Russia (in spite of Russia’s current bombings of the rebel regime against President Assad of Syria (Shiites).

We haven’t even discussed the Iranians. Most of what we have been reading about in the media is the severance of relations between the Saudis and the Iranians, including the burning of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. One of the 47 executed by the Saudis was a Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr. His execution is what breached the divide between the two enemies of the ages.

Finally, do not assume that God is unaware or not in control of what is happening:

For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled. —Rev 17:17 (NASB)

Jesus come quickly.




  1. The Pope recently declared that Allah and God are the same God and the Bible and the Qur’an are the same Scripture. []