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SITE Publications
In Rare Move, Terrorist Groups Condemn Riyadh Bombing
By SITE Institute
Published in: SITE Institute
November 14, 2003

Four of the most dangerous Islamic terrorist groups have condemned last week?s al-Qaeda attack on the Mahia complex in Riyadh, which claimed the lives of at least 17 people, including Muslims. Though other terrorist attacks perpetrated by al-Qaeda have resulted in the deaths of Muslims, including scores of Muslims in the 1998 Embassy bombings in east Africa, this is the first time where several terrorist groups have released similar statements condemning an attack in which there were Muslim casualties. Vocalizing very rare criticism of al-Qaeda, designated terrorist groups Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Egyptian Al-Gama?a al-Islamiyya, and Hizballah have each individually published statements denigrating the attack.

The official website of Hamas posted an announcement entitled, ?Hamas Denounces the Bombing of Mahia Residential Complex in Riyadh.? In addition to this condemnation, the terrorist group explains that ?the Hamas movement believes that the operations of this nature harm the security and the stability of a Muslim-Arab country, which constitute an important and fundamental part of our Ummah, and of which we want to be strong and indomitable in its confrontation with the external challenges of its enemies.?

The Arabic daily As-Sharq Al-Awsat also reported about several of the organizations? statements about the bombing.

Al-Gama?a al-Islamiyya, also known as the Islamic Group formerly headed by the now-imprisoned Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman, maintained that the attack ?has nothing to do with Islam,? and called upon al-Qaeda leaders to ?apologize to the families of the victims of the Al-Mahia bombings in Riyadh a sincere apology, for this event has become a grave sin, especially because it led to the death of eighteen Muslims, including four children, in the glorious month of Ramadan, in the cradle of Islam and its fundamental fort in Saudi Arabia.?

Al-Gama?a al-Islamiyya continued, ?All know that the [holy] texts are very clear about preventing the bloodshed of a Muslim. It is not right to go against it, like to what al-Qaeda leaders are adhering.?

The statement also said, ?Al-Qaeda leaders and their responsibility for the bombings prove that they are in state of absolute wrong, a state which brings great dangers with it. They do not pay attention to the advice of the truehearted, those who belongs to people of the religion, and they just take off without heeding the bloodshed of the Houses of Islam [Muslim states] and the sinless blood of the Muslims.?

The Gama?a called upon the Saudi youth ?not to respond to any call regarding bloodshed of Muslims.?

In its announcement, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad described it as ?a horrible crime that serves the purpose of the enemies of Islam in finding excuses to attack it.?

Hizballah?s Assistant Secretary-General, Sheikh Na?im Kassem referred to the bombings as an action that ?has nothing do to with Islam.?

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