Second attack on Saudi Shia mosque

ISIS tries to foment sectarian strife in kingdom
Friday 05/06/2015
A policeman carries out an inspection after a car exploded near the Shia al-Anoud mosque in Dammam

Islamic State (ISIS) said it car­ried out a suicide bombing of a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia last week that killed four peo­ple, the second such a attack in the kingdom in a week.
The bomber attempted to enter the mosque in the eastern city of Dammam, a witness told the Associ­ated Press, but was foiled by young men who had set up checkpoints at the entrance. Video from inside the al-Anoud mosque showed the moment the bomb went off outside during the Friday sermon, which was about the previous Friday’s suicide bombing that also targeted a Shia mosque in Eastern province and killed 21 people.
Security had been tightened at mosques after the May 22nd at­tack and women were told to stay at home because there were not enough female guards to check them, another witness said.
The young men who stopped the suicide bomber were killed in the attack. Identified as Abdul-Jalil al- Arbash and Mohammed Hassan Ali bin Isa, the pair have been hailed as heroes with thousands of tributes pouring in on Twitter and YouTube.
In a statement released after the second bombing, ISIS claimed re­sponsibility for the attack, saying its “Najd Province” fighters car­ried it out. The statement posted on a Facebook page used by the extremist group said a “soldier of the caliphate”, identified as Abu Jandal al-Jazrawi, killed himself up among “an evil gathering of those filth in front of one of their shrines in Dammam”. The name al-Jazrawi suggests the bomber was a Saudi national.
The statement called on Sunnis to “purify the land of the two shrines from the atheist rafida”, a derogato­ry term for Shias. Islamic State lead­er Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has repeat­edly called for attacks on the Saudi kingdom and Shias in particular.
The kingdom’s Shia minority, who mostly live in Eastern province, have long complained of marginali­sation by the country’s institutions, a claim disputed by the government and the predominately Sunni reli­gious institutions.
In an effort to quash sectarian sentiment, the Saudi government and the country’s religious estab­lishment quickly condemned the attacks and again called for national unity. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) head Abdul Latif Al Zayani described the bombing as a “cow­ardly criminal act that contradicts all principles of Islam and human­ity”.
He reiterated the GCC’s commit­ment to “uprooting terrorism re­gardless of its reasons or perpetra­tors”.
After the May 22nd attack on the Ali Ibn Abi Taleb mosque, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul- Aziz Al Saud vowed to bring anyone involved in the “heinous crime” to justice.
“Anyone taking part, planning, supporting, cooperating or sympa­thising with this heinous crime will be held accountable and will be sub­ject to legal accountability. He will receive the deserved punishment,” the king said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Mosques in Eastern province are setting up closed-circuit cameras and women’s sections of mosques have been closed as a security measure after indications the sec­ond bomber dressed in woman’s clothing. Parking areas for mosques have been moved a significant dis­tance from mosques and mobile phone jamming devices have been installed.
After the first suicide bombing, Interior Ministry official Bassam At­tiyah said ISIS had divided the king­dom into five self-styled provinces. He said on state TV that the group’s short-term plans are to target the security forces and attack Shias to foment sectarian strife. They then plan to target foreigners, including those working in the Saudi oil in­dustry, he said.
“What we are seeing now are the short-term plans,” he said.