Qaeda warns Saudi Arabia against execution of jihadists
RIYADH - Al-Qaeda warned Saudi authorities on Tuesday against executing jihadists on death row in the kingdom following reports that dozens of executions are imminent.
"We have heard of executions that the government of Al-Saud intends to implement against mujahedeen brothers held captive. We vow to sacrifice our own blood to save theirs," Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said in a statement posted online.
"Their blood will not dry up before the blood of Al-Saud soldiers is shed," warned the statement. "We shall not rest until we slit the throats of Al-Saud rulers."
Amnesty International last week cited Saudi newspapers as reporting that up to 55 people, including Al-Qaeda militants, were to be executed "in the next few days."
AQAP was formed in 2009 through the merger of the jihadist network's Saudi and Yemeni branches, as militants fled the kingdom for its lawless neighbour following a crackdown by Saudi authorities.
Al-Qaeda waged a campaign of shooting and bombings against foreigners and security personnel in Saudi Arabia between 2003 and 2006.
Washington considers AQAP its most dangerous affiliate and has carried out a long-running drone war against its leaders in Yemen.