Combating Terrorism

Combating Terrorism


Dr. Ali S. Awadh Asseri

(Former Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon)


Saudi Strategy against Terrorism:

Domestic Dimensions


Since 11 September 2001, Saudi Arabia has adopted a host of domestic measures to fight terrorism, including reforms in the country’s administrative, educational, economic and financial sectors. The deep commitment to combating terrorism that exists at the highest level of Saudi leadership has helped the country to mobilize its various state organs and societal forces against terrorists. Islam is the founding principle of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and, as discussion in the preceding chapter manifests clearly, Islam strictly forbids terrorist violence. Given that, counter-terrorism discourse of the Saudi leadership is essentially grounded in Islamic precepts on the subject. In fact, in every speech that King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz has made regarding the threat of terrorism and the ways to tackle it, he has made it a point to highlight the Islamic creed of peace, tolerance and brotherhood spanning all humanity. For instance, while addressing the 2003 OIC summit in Malaysia, he said:

Islam is innocent of violence, hatred, and terrorism. It is a religion of kindness, mercy and tolerance. We should not allow a minority of deviant terrorists to tarnish its image. The bullets that kill women and children, terrorize those secured in their safety and destroy innocent communities, do not come from rifles, but from deviant thoughts and misguided interpretations of our great religion and its noble message.[1]


[1] See the speech at official website of the OIC,