Middle East

Wanted Saudi Al-Qaeda militant killed in Syria: SITE

Syrian children walk through a street as they bring food back to their families in the northeastern city of Deir Al-Zor on January 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD ABOUD

DUBAI: A suspected Al-Qaeda insurgent who is on Saudi Arabia's wanted list of 47 militants abroad, has been killed in Syria, the SITE monitoring group said on Friday.

Saudi national Abdullah Suleiman Salih al-Dhabah, known as Abu Ali al-Qasimi, waged jihad (holy war) in Pakistan and Afghanistan before going to Syria, where he was killed in the city of al-Bab in Aleppo by a rocket from a MiG plane, SITE said, citing online messages posted by Islamists on Jan. 18.

Riyadh broadly backs the Sunni rebels battling President Bashar Assad. But with the rise of Islamist militant factions in Syria, it is concerned that Saudis who joined the rebellion might one day return to wage an insurgency at home.

Dhabah was number 11 on a wanted list of 47 suspects posted on the Interior Ministry website. In 2011, Riyadh issued global arrest warrants for militants it accused of trying to build cells inside the country and said were hiding in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq.

Saudis who had fought for ِAl-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq waged a violent campaign in their homeland from 2003-06 in a failed attempt to bring down the ruling al-Saud dynasty.

Saudi Arabia's policy toward Syria reflects its regional tussle for dominance with Shiite power Iran, a strong ally of Assad, whose minority Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Sunni hardliners regard Shiites as heretics.





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