GCC oil fields and military bases threatened by the Islamic State

Saudi Arabia is facing today growing security threats amid fears that the same terrorism it established in neighboring countries, such as Iraq and Syria, will expand to reach its own territories, especially since the “Islamic State” organization has learned many lessons from the past experiences of its predecessor, al-Qaeda, with the Saudi regime.

New York – The Gulf governments seem worried these days. None of them had imagined, a few months ago, that individuals entrusted with security, people’s lives, oil fields and weapons would eventually pose the main threat to all these valuables.

Times have changed, so did the rules of the game. The new “caliph”, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, supported by countries of the Gulf that have provided him with money and arms, will not wait before striking. Al-Baghdadi may even resort to a preemptive war, this time launched from inside, not from across the borders.

Since the early 1970s, Gulf countries have been counting on apolitical Bedouins to maintain security. These people were trusted because they distanced themselves from politics and did not embrace leftist and revolutionary ideas. Their main concerns were their salaries and bonuses, and to please their guardians (the rulers).

When a regime is under any kind of threat, the Bedouins are usually the first to step up to defend the earnings that they themselves lack in the desert, like a stable residence, water and peace of mind, alongside other privileges and a steady income, as well as education and healthcare services for their families, and above all the respect that accompanies the military uniform.

Bedouinism, which has been linked to the Wahabi-Takfiri ideology for about three centuries, is the optimal weapon to confront the Shia, just like it confronted communism before. It is an ideal alliance that is uncontested by any Arab ruler or Western government. In this framework, a sea, or rather an ocean, of historical animosity can be invested in a war that has already stirred up all old vocabularies that have been stored for centuries.

ISIS leaders, the likes of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, are well aware of al-Qaeda’s past experience and they do realize that the Islamic caliphate will never be truly fulfilled without controlling the region’s most important treasures, i.e. oil and gas resources. That was their priority, first in Syria, then in Iraq. And although ISIS is yet to conquer Kirkuk, the northern Iraqi city tops its list of planned conquests that aim to take over the region’s resources and hold them hostage.

ISIS will not torch oil fields, like Saddam did in Kuwait, but they will seek to use them as leverage against Western countries that dare to attack the Islamic State. They can invest in oil returns to enroll soldiers and fund their strike force, like they did in the 18 century.

Today, however, something far more important than camels, shops and Akhmas is at stake. It is the oil, gas, banks and military bases comprising state-of-the-art weapons.

Takfiri-Wahabi extremists are present in all these sites; they infiltrated all facilities in the Gulf states in their capacities as guards and high ranking officials; thus, they can at least disable production and upset western economies at this very critical time.

If Iran can seal off the Strait of Hormuz and block the passage of oil, Wahabis can shut down the entire production and disable it for a long period of time.

Today, the Saudi regime is baffled as it realizes the scale of salafi-jihadi infiltration within its security apparatus. The regime is also aware that the real threat may not emanate from Iraq or Yemen, but from al-Qassim and al-Riyadh. And while Kuwait started to crack down on extremists within its borders, Islamists are in a state of alert with their hands on the trigger. However, after seeing the fate of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, they might not wait for their turn, and may opt to meet their fate halfway.

Full article: GCC oil fields and military bases threatened by the Islamic State (alakhbar)

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