Close Relative of Senior Saudi Counterterrorism Official Killed Alongside AlQaeda in Syria


Washington DC – The nephew of the director of Saudi terrorist rehabilitation program was killed fighting against the Syrian Army with an AlQaeda group Friday, his mother confirmed multiple reports of his death.

AlHadlaq’s mother, Dr. Hesa AlHadalaq, the sister of Abdulrahman, proudly tweeted the news of her son’s death. “I pray that God accept my son Mohamed Abdulaziz AlHadlaq, a martyr in his path”, she wrote on her account August 16th.

Mohamed AlHadlaq, 21, was the nephew of Dr. Abdulrahman AlHadlaq, the director-general of Ideological Security Administration in the Saudi Ministry of the Interior, who also oversees the Mohamed Bin Naif Care Center that graduates hundreds of alleged extremists.

Mohamed AlHadlaq joined the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in January of this year and was killed in Lattakia region – a government stronghold that has been a target of Syrian rebels and AlQaeda groups in the past weeks. ISIS is the largest AlQaeda group in Iraq and Syria and is believed to be secretly funded by the Saudi and Qatari monarchies. The Saudi Minister of the Interior Mohamed Ben Naif runs a secret program that sends men and money to AlQaeda groups across the Middle East. Details of this program will be published by the Institute for Gulf Affairs in an upcoming report.

Andrew Bond, a Geopolitical Risk and Security Analyst at the Gulf Institute said “this death in Syria casts doubts on the Saudi government’s sincerity in fighting terrorism.”

Alarming Connections

The killing of AlHadlaq alongside hundreds of Saudi fighters of AlQaeda and associated groups in Syria exposes the failure of this much touted program seen by many as revolving door for AlQaeda members who limit their targets to targets outside Saudi Arabia. American government agencies, most glaringly the security and intelligence departments, have been ignoring Saudi involvement in funding and replenishing AlQaeda ranks especially in Iraq, Syria. They may be related to the close personal and financial ties that link a number of senior US officials to the Saudi Monarchy.

Abdulrahman AlHadlaq, who regularly meets with US officials, was a guest of the New America Foundation October 2009 as part of promoting the Saudi re-education program in the United States. The Saudi government spent millions to promote the program by funding conferences in Washington and donating to organizations that published papers praising the program as a model of successful counterterrorism initiatives.

Phillip Mudd, former FBI’s Senior Intelligence Advisor, spoke at the same New America Foundation and expressed strong support for Saudi officials and called AlHadlaq his “brother in arms”. Mudd also confirmed that the FBI provided assistance to the Saudi Monarchy in their efforts targeting human rights and political opposition groups and individuals in the kingdom. Calls to Mr. Mudd’s office were not returned as of today.

The U.S. General Attorney Eric Holder said to the Saudi press in March of this year that he told the Saudi minister of the Interior Mohamed Ben Naif that he would like to apply the Saudi reeducation program in the United States to counter extremism, according to AlHayat newspaper.

The late Christopher Boucek of The Carnegie Endowment published a major paper in 2008 titled “Saudi Arabia’s “Soft” Counterterrorism Strategy: Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Aftercare” praising the program.

Many American media outlets also praised the program and produced reports that read like a public relations statement. To name but one example, CNN’s senior international correspondent Nic Robertson published several stories praising the Saudi program.

On the line:
New American Foundation’s conference “Al- Qaeda and Its Allies: The Endgame” 2009
Twitter accounts:
Abdulrahman AlHadlaq

Hesa Alhadlaq
General Administration of Ideological Security in the Saudi minister of the Interior

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