Saudi Arabia issues Al Qaeda ‘wanted list’

February 3rd, 2009 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Riyadh, Feb 3 (DPA) The Saudi government has published a list of 85 men worldwide it says adhere to “deviant” ideologies, common Saudi terminology for Al Qaeda, the official SPA news agency reported.Saudi security forces urged the men to turn themselves in to Saudi embassies abroad and “return to reason and wisdom”, adding that they could be reunited with their families, depending on the charges against them.

The SPA Monday said that 15 of the men “who had been led astray” had done so since Saudi Arabia announced an amnesty programme for militants.

“But there are still others who cleave to sin,” a statement from the Saudi interior ministry said. “They have made themselves tools of the enemies of the faith. The nation … is worried about what detestable acts these human devils might carry out against their people and their nation.”

The 85 men on the list comprise 83 Saudis and two Yemeni nationals. The Arabic satellite news channel al-Arabiya Tuesday reported that one of the men, Saleh al-Qaraawi, was the leader of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has begun an experimental programme of “rehabilitating” former Islamist militants.

Militants in the programme renounce violence and their old ideologies in exchange for freedom.

In January, Al Qaeda members in Yemen said two Saudi men released from Guantanamo had returned to the network as leaders.

Saudi security forces in October said they had charged 991 men with participating in or planning attacks in Saudi Arabia since 2003.

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