A senior Saudi member of Al-Qaeda warned the interior minister that he should expel non-Muslims from the kingdom, among other demands to stop considering him a target, in an online audio message.
Ibrahim al-Rubeish, a former Guantanamo detainee, addressed Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz with seven measures which he considered essential for “reform” in the ultra-conservative Gulf state and for the prince’s own safety, SITE Intelligence reported on Monday.
The measures included expelling non-Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula, repealing all man-made laws and instituting (Islamic) sharia-based governance, the US-based monitoring service said.
They also included releasing prisoners, allowing preachers to speak with impunity and removing themselves as obstacles to those who wish to support Muslims in Iraq and the Palestinian territories, it added.
“This is the path if you wish to survive. If you do this, I will guarantee that the mujahedeen will not prepare another trap for you and that you will sleep safely in your bed and you will go as you please without fearing anyone,” Rubeish said.
He was alluding to an incident earlier this month when a gunman fired at Prince Nayef’s palace near the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah.
Saudi Arabia witnessed a wave of deadly attacks by Al-Qaeda between 2003 and 2006, which prompted Prince Nayef to launch a security force crackdown on the local branch of the jihadist network founded by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden.
Al-Qaeda remains very active in neighbouring Yemen, where the Saudi and Yemeni franchises of Al-Qaeda joined forces under the banner of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
A suicide bomber from the group blew himself up in August 2009 in an abortive attempt on the life of Prince Nayef’s son, Prince Mohammed, who leads the campaign against Islamist militants in the kingdom.
In comments published by Saudi daily Al-Eqtissadiya on Monday, Prince Nayef said that terrorism would remain a threat to the kingdom.
“We will continue to be a target for terrorists, who will continue attempting to attack us, supported by other parties,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.