Yasser al-Zahrani

Faris Ahmed Jamaan al-Showeel al-Zahrani

Faris Ahmed Jamaan al-Showeel al-Zahrani (فارس أحمد جمعان آل شويل الزهراني), suspected terrorist - twelfth 'most-wanted' on Saudi Arabia's list of 26 'most-wanted' suspected terrorists - was arrested in Abha by Saudi police on August 5, 2004. Most of the other suspects on the list had previously been either killed or arrested following a series of bomb incidents in Riyadh in May 2003; see Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Zahrani and another man (whose name was not released at the time), also a 'terror suspect', were arrested without incident, even though both were armed. Al-Zahrani and the second suspect were detained "swiftly and efficiently," according to a Saudi Interior Ministry official.

Four weeks prior to his arrest, al-Zahrani wrote an article in which he said he was evading the Saudi crackdown. Several weeks before the arrest, al-Zahrani (who was described by one Saudi official as "a preacher of denouncing people as infidels") said, in an interview with the online publication Voice of Jihad: "I would like to reassure the people who love me," ... and ... "I am careful in my movements and contacts, and I take all necessary precautions." Islamic militants have been known to characterize their enemies as infidels prior to attacking them. In the same statement, al-Zahrani rejected an amnesty that King Fahd had offered militants in June. Under the amnesty, which netted no major suspects, and expired in July (prior to al-Zahrani's rejection of the amnesty), suspected terrorists who surrendered were spared the death penalty.


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