Grand mufti Sheikh at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh. (File photo)
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Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al al-Sheikh, the highest religious authority in the country, said Tuesday that the militant groups Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda were "enemy number one of Islam" and not in any way part of the faith.Although the mufti and other senior Saudi preachers have condemned ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other groups before, the timing of Sheikh's statement is significant given the gains by militants in Iraq. Riyadh has been a main supporter of rebels battling Syrian President Bashar Assad, but has funneled arms and money away from ISIS and Al-Qaeda towards other opposition groups.
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