Saudi Arabia: ISIS Ordered Attacks on Shi’ites

Shi’ites are only about 10 to 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population, but live predominantly in the most oil-rich regions, along the coast. That makes the threat of a sectarian war a huge economic problem for the Saudi Kingdom.

Saudi officials say they have arrested four suspects in the November 3 attack on Shi’ites in the al-Ahsa Province, which left seven worshipers dead during the Shi’ite holiday of Ashoura.

They also say they believe those four were acting on orders of ISIS fighters from abroad, and that it may well be the first step in an attempt to spark a sectarian war in the nation, in retaliation for the Saudis joining the US anti-ISIS coalition.

The Saudis themselves had long been cracking down on the Shi’ites, of course, and it wouldn’t take an ISIS order for such an attack to happen. That doesn’t mean they didn’t do it, but the proof doesn’t seem to be there, and the Saudis seem to be trying to blame ISIS this time as a way of justifying their involvement in the US war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of