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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 3, 2014 - 12:59 pm

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia issued an anti-jihad decree today by setting prison sentences of three to 20 years for anyone who goes abroad to fight in other countries’ conflicts or with a terrorist group.

The decree outlaws “taking part in combat outside the kingdom, in any form” and includes those who belong to “extremist religious and ideological groups, or those classified as terrorist organizations, domestically, regionally and internationally.”

The king’s directive also outlaws supporting those groups “through speech or writing” and promoting their ideology.

The decree came about as an effort to deter a recent wave of jihadi exports, including to Syria.

Human Rights Watch said the new law is “draconian in spirit and letter, and there is every reason to fear that the authorities will easily and eagerly use it against peaceful dissidents.”

The terrorism law outlaws any act “destabilises the society’s security or the state’s stability or exposes its national unity to harm,” including “disabling the ruling system” or “offending the nation’s reputation.”

The White House announced today that President Obama will visit Saudi Arabia in March to meet with the king.

“The president looks forward to discussing with King Abdullah the enduring and strategic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia as well as ongoing cooperation to advance a range of common interests related to Gulf and regional security, peace in the Middle East, countering violent extremism, and other issues of prosperity and security,” the administration said. “The president will travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following his travel to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy.”

Obama is likely to try to put pressure on the Saudis over their willingness to team up with Israel to ensure, by force if necessary, that Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
The king’s directive also outlaws supporting those groups “through speech or writing” and promoting their ideology.

But it doesn't outlaw supporting those groups through financial donations. Curious, no?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (2)
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The king’s directive also outlaws supporting those groups “through speech or writing” and promoting their ideology.

But it doesn't outlaw supporting those groups through financial donations. Curious, no?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
My first thought.

Also saw a news release on another decree outlawing internal dissent.
Lovely place our allies have.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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