Another al-Qaeda group forms in Saudi Arabia

Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 2 Issue: 19

A new al-Qaeda affiliate in Saudi Arabia announced its presence via the jihadi forums on October 13. A declaration by the “Echo of Tuwayq Brigades in al-Zulfa,” dated October 9, was released on the al-Tajdeed forum, announcing that the Brigades were subordinated to the Organization of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The declaration, authored by Abu Hajir al-Zulfi, is intended as an “introduction” and limited itself to declaring six principal objectives: support for the Muslims’ battle with the enemies of God; clarification of its religious aims; refutation of Saudi and American propaganda; guidance on the nature of the true faith and publication of mujahideen activities and statements. A sixth objective appears to be a specific act of vengeance to be carried out imminently.

The group, which takes its name from the Jabal Tuwayq escarpment that runs north to south through the area of Riyadh, declared its allegiance to Mulla Omar, Osama bin Laden and Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi. It also pledged its loyalty to the 36 members of the latest “most wanted” list issued by the Saudi authorities on June 29, among them were three natives of the al-Zulfa region: Fahd Farraj al-Juwayr, Abd al-Rahman al-Mut’ib and Ibrahim al-Mutayyir. Forthcoming media releases include a manifesto by Shaykh Abu al-Abbas al-Zulfawi, an interview with Abd al-Rahman al-Mut’ib and a publication, “Tuwayq Echo,” on doctrinal, educational, historical and cultural matters (

From subsequent postings, the news of this new formation was welcomed–but also accompanied by frustration at the relative lack of jihadi activity in the Peninsula. The three members on the most wanted list are considered to be “second-tier” militants who had worked under more senior operatives, mostly those on the previous list of 26 that have already been killed or captured. Al-Juwayr is believed to have been involved in clashes between Saudi forces and gunmen in January in al-Zulfi, located about 300 km northwest of Riyadh, which resulted in the killing of four gunmen and injury to three Saudi security personnel.