London June (NTS): The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) threatened Saudi Arabia with major attacks two days after it claimed responsibility for two assaults in Tehran that left 17 people dead, according to a new video released Friday.
In the video, reported by U.S. jihadi monitoring service SITE Intelligence, five masked supporters of the group say the Saudi government’s turn “will come.”
The group said it would target Iran’s Shia majority in what appeared to be filmed footage before the gun and suicide bomb attacks on the Iranian parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Wednesday.
“Allah permitting, this brigade will be the first of jihad in Iran, and we ask our brothers the Muslims to follow us, as the fire that was ignited will not be put out, Allah permitting,” one of the ISIS fighters says in the video, which was published on the group’s Amaq news agency on the encrypted messaging service Telegram.
The group’s fighters then turned to the Gulf Kingdom. “Know that after Iran, your turn will come. By Allah, we will strike you in your own homes… We are the agents of nobody,” the fighters said. “We obey Allah and His Messenger, and we are fighting for the sake of this religion, not for the sake of Iran or the Arabian Peninsula.”
Saudi Arabia follows the same Wahhabi strain of Sunni Islam to which ISIS adheres, but ISIS views the Saudi monarchy as a corrupted version of what Wahhabi Islam should be. The group says that the ruling monarchy uses Islam to hold on to its power and is not the true Islamic state it claims to be.
ISIS has carried out attacks on the Saudi security forces, on the country’s minority Shiite population and on Medina, one of the holiest sites in Islam. In September 2016, Saudi authorities uncovered three cells linked to ISIS, arresting a total of 17 people.
Saudi Arabia is leading an anti-extremism military coalition to combat the jihadist group in Iraq and Syria. A joint operations center for the coalition is based in Riyadh.
The group claims to already have cells operating in three provinces, or wilayats, within Saudi Arabia: Wilayat Bahrain, Wilayat Hijaz and Wilayat Najd.
After the Tehran attack, ISIS posted an image of the attackers in its weekly online magazine Al-Naba, saying that it made Tehran “an open battlefield” as Iran had waged a “war on someone else’s land,” a reference to the Syrian conflict where Iranian ground troops and advisers are backing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against Sunni rebels and jihadists.
Iran’s elite blamed Saudi Arabia, its Sunni rival in the region, for the attack. Saudi Arabia also has been accused of funding ISIS but rejects all accusations suggesting it has links to the group because of the similar strands of religion. Courtesy Newsweek