Saudi Arabia’s new terrorists: middle aged, cultivated men

Terrorism in Saudi Arabia: Who is Developing it and Who Can Explain it? Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

However, in my opinion, the most important issue that the statement tried to highlight was that those suspects did not only encourage and support [terrorism] but are in a more advanced stage of violent activity by religious groups; a stage in which there is experience and high-level qualifications. Some of them work as lecturers, some are established employees and others are businessmen. In other words, they are unlike the zealous young people who we used to watch read out their wills just before embarking on suicide operations – young people overwhelmed by religious zeal who would brandish their machine guns or hand grenades with passion.

The significance of all of this is the invalidation of the belief that terrorism is merely an expression of the frustration of deprived and poor young people. Even though this belief is not completely erroneous or far removed from the truth, this link, between terrorism and poverty and political despotism, is incorrect and misleading when presented as the perfect explanation for the existence of terrorism in Islamic societies.

….The aim of all this is to show that after discovering a group of 44 academics and middle-aged men in Saudi Arabia accused of supporting and funding terrorism, we are actually facing another fundamentalist group in Saudi Arabia that is far smarter in its approach than the previous youth of Al Qaeda. It is the middle-aged and old men who are now playing, not the youngsters.

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