The suicide bombings in Medina, the second holiest shrine of Islam, on 4th of July has indeed brought the spectre of radical Islam full circle for the Saudis. Having spawned Islamic radicalism and funded terrorists for more than two decades now, it was but a matter of time that the radicals bit the very hand that fed them.
The Saudis have been doing a balancing act for far too long to be able to sustain it endlessly- maintaining a close relationship with the US on one hand, and secretly funding the jihadis on the other, was always mutually incompatible. It has become even more so, with the Islamic State taking their fight to altogether new levels of barbarianism.
The attack was also meant to direct two significant missives at the world. One, the attack was planned in the holy month of Ramadan, and two, it was carried out on the 4th of July. Coinciding with the American Independence Day, it was evidently symbolic of the Islamic State’s fIght against the global hegemon. That it was done during Ramadan was clearly a challenge to traditional Islam’s view of a month of spirituality and penance by the IS, trying to superimpose its own interpretation of the scriptures, portraying Ramadan as a month of plunder and conquest.
Despite all the best efforts of the countries aligned against the IS, there is yet much of a palpable fight left. Equally, for the Saudis, the proverbial chickens have come home to roost.
*Vishakha Amitabh Hoskote, MPHIL (Politics, International Relations) Rani Durgavati University Jabalpur, MA Politics, International Relations School of International Studies, JNU Delhi, PG Diploma Development Communications, AJK MCRC,Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi, BA Political Science, Lady Shri Ram College for Women,Delhi University