The Saudi State Versus the "Islamic State"

On July 18 the Saudi Ministry of the Interior held a press conference in Riyadh in which it announced the arrest over the past few weeks of 431 suspects allegedly affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the self-styled “Islamic State.” While some critics of the Saudi government will likely characterize the arrest of such a large number of militants in a short period of time as a “failure” of its decade-long counterterrorism campaign, Saudi authorities portrayed this extensive operation as a triumph for their security services.

The Saudi State Versus the "Islamic State"
Saudi policemen gather around debris following a blast inside a mosque, in the mainly Shiite Saudi Gulf coastal town of Qatif, 400 kms east of Riyadh, on May 22, 2015. A suicide bomber targeted a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers in Kudeih in Shiite-majority Qatif district, the interior ministry said, with activists saying at least four worshippers were killed. AFP PHOTO / HUSSEIN RADWAN (Photo credit should read HUSSEIN RADWAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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