Police in the western Saudi city of Taif have arrested a man after he was apprehended driving a van that carried pro-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Daesh, in Arabic) slogans.
A traffic patrol seized the vehicle after the operation room received information about the slogans it was carrying, local daily Okaz reported on Monday.
Saudi Arabia, like fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries, has pledged to fight the terrorist movement and has issued several warnings of a zero tolerance towards anyone who supported or expressed sympathy with the group under any form. In Kuwait, local daily Al Rai said that the security authorities were now aware of 30 people who supported the terrorist movement.
“Most of the suspects are followers of a preacher who had been arrested,” security sources told the daily. “They had been deeply influenced by him and by whatever was posted on social networks. The arrest of the leading preacher helped the security authorities, particularly that they found very significant date on his computer, including names. The computer enabled them to identify a large number of Isil supporters,” the source said, quoted by Al Rai on Monday.
Two prominent leaders from the stateless community have also been arrested for their support for Isil, the source added. Their arrest last week occurred 10 days after two other preachers, Kuwaiti nationals, were held for their pro-Isil ideology. A Kalashnikov and published material that represented a risk to national unity and a threat to social peace were found in the search of the home of one of the suspects, the source said.
In Bahrain, a prominent lawmaker with strong Salafi tendencies said that the number of Isil supporters in Bahrain was limited.
“I think they are five or six young people,” Adel Al Mouawda said. “We did warn in the past about the growth of radicalism. We have been fighting extremist ideologies for the last 25 years through lectures and in speeches and sermons. The emergence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Al Qaida does have dire consequences,” he said at a public majlis on Saturday evening.
Al Mouawda added that most of the people who joined Isil were “overenthusiastic young men attempting to flee a bitter reality for a romantic past when Muslims lived in great glory.”