Family Security Matters November 2, 2011
On October 23, Crown Prince Sultan of Saudi Arabia passed away, replaced by Prince Nayef. He has a fierce reputation, striking fear into the hearts of Al-Qaeda, Iran, Israel and liberal Saudis alike. King Abdullah, is possibly as old as 88, is in poor health and has just recovered from his third back surgery. The time when Nayef becomes the King of Saudi Arabia is drawing near and everyone but the Wahhabists are worried.
Nayef is a firm ally of the Saudi Wahhabists whose networks and ideology contributed to the rise of Al-Qaeda. In 2003, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer demanded that the Saudis fire Nayef because of his “well-documented history of suborning terrorist financing and ignoring the evidence when it comes to investigating terrorist attacks on Americans.”
As Interior Minister, though, Nayef has been a nightmare for Al-Qaeda, particularly once the terrorist group shot itself in the foot with its May 2003 bombings in Riyadh. After that, the Saudi government seriously cracked down on Al-Qaeda within its borders. In November 2002, he stated that Saudi support for the Muslim Brotherhood was a mistake, as “All our problems come from the Muslim Brotherhood.” Nayef also ridiculed the religious establishment in October 2008 for “miserably” failing to counter extremism.
Continue reading New Saudi Crown Prince: Friend of the Wahhabists by Ryan Mauro
Stephen Schwartz at the grave of Bosnian President Alija Izetbegović
Pajamas Media, February 14, 2011
Stephen Schwartz was raised a communist in the San Francisco Bay Area and once worked for the Cubans. Then he became a Republican and converted to Islam in the Balkans. When he’s not busy with his duties as the director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, he writes books and articles for magazines like The Weekly Standard.
His analysis of the Middle East and the Muslim world generally is more fresh and interesting than that of most. He is the first Westerner to use the word “Islamofascism” to describe the “use of the faith of Islam as a cover for totalitarian ideology,” and he did so not as an “Islamophobe” but as a Muslim believer. Those who yearn to hear from moderate Muslims, and those who have somehow convinced themselves that the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood are the moderates, really need to hear what he has to say.
MJT: So, what are your thoughts on Egypt?
Stephen Schwartz: Well, during the first two weeks most of the usual chatterers had no chattering to do. Everybody was stunned. Nobody had an answer. A lot of what should have been said was considered politically incorrect. Nobody for the first two weeks wanted to say there weren’t just two alternatives in Egypt, Mubarak or the Brotherhood. There were three alternatives—Mubarak, the Brotherhood, and the army which really rules Egypt.
Continue reading From San Francisco to Sarajevo by Michael J. Totten An Interview With Stephen Schwartz
Ryan Mauro on Saudi succession concerns, various blogs, December 21, 2010
[CIP Note: This text appeared in various forms, and was abbreviated on at least one blog. (CIP URL. Our thanks to the honorable Mr. Mauro.]
Saudi Arabia has been a part-time ally of the U.S., crushing Al-Qaeda terrorists trying to overthrow the Royal Family in its own territory but promoting radical Islam outside of it. The U.S. has made the largest arms sale in history to the Saudis but these weapons could end up in dangerous hands, especially if Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud becomes king.
King Abdullah is 86 years old and in poor health.
His designated successor, Crown Prince Sultan, is 82 and widely thought to have cancer.
Aware that he and his successor could die in a short period of time, King Abdullah made Prince Nayef the Second Deputy Prime Minister in March of 2009, a position which is viewed as being the slot just below the successor. A cable from the U.S. embassy in Riyadh released by WikiLeaks is dated May 2009 and reports that “Crown Prince Sultan has been incapacitated by illness for at least (the) past year.”
Continue reading The Saudi Succession Threat by Ryan Mauro
The Weekly Standard Blog, October 22, 2010
The kingdom of Jordan is widely acknowledged for its internal contradictions. It accepts peace with Israel, and its intelligence service has been praised for its [...]