Counter-Terrorism: The Kidnapper's Lament

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April 28, 2012: An al Qaeda group recently kidnapped a Saudi Arabian diplomat in Yemen and demanded that Saudi Arabia release some imprisoned al Qaeda prisoners in exchange for the diplomat. At that point Saudi legal officials stepped in and pointed out because Saudi Arabia is ruled by Sharia (Islamic) law and al Qaeda are considered heretics (and thus beyond any religious or secular law) the Saudi government could not negotiate with them for the release of a member of the Saudi government.

Tribal leaders in Yemen are seeking the release of the Saudi diplomat. The Saudi government has long sought to cultivate good relations with Yemeni tribal chiefs, including gifts and favors. All this is done with the understanding that, sometime down the road, some reciprocity might be sought. The way these things usually play out, the Saudis get their diplomat back but do not immediately get vengeance on the kidnappers. However, the Saudis have long memories in these matters and the kidnappers will be aware of that.

 

 


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