Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

British Ambassador Attests to Saudi Counter-Terrorism Efforts in Awamiya

The years between 2011 and 2018 have witnessed the spark of terrorism in Awamiya village, east of Saudi Arabia, where crimes, drug trafficking, arms selling, killing, acts of terrorism and intimidation were carried out.

Later on, Iran’s foreign intervention led to the rise of “activists,” “human rights activists” and human rights organizations, yet Saudi government alone was capable of imposing security and stability for its citizens, confronting all campaigns of distortion and falsification, calling things by their proper names, gradually imposing the same logic and validating the premise of the state that it declared from the beginning. It proved that what happened had nothing to do with rights or duties.

What happened from the beginning was not related to people’s demands, but to terrorism.

Of course, with time and the return of tranquility to the village many positions have changed. Governments, organizations and international organizations were initially deceived and swept away by a wave of confusion as all those who raised arms against the state were seen as if they were practicing their rights even if they were terrorists.

Last Thursday, the British government attested to Saudi Arabia’s efforts in fighting terrorism. British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Simon Collis published a video on his Twitter account saying that Saudi authorities defeated terrorists in Awamiya village.

“This is the place where Saudi authorities defeated terrorists and where they have begun to rebuild the community,” Collis said.

“There have been problems in the past, but now there is a drive to renew the community based on the return of security to Awamiya,” Collis added.

This official British talk came during the ambassador’s visit to a development project implemented in the center of the village that would transform it into a tourist attraction.

Perhaps the most significant part of Collis’s statement is that it proved what the Saudi government has said and been doing since the first day about seven years ago. The government said back then that the incidents that took place were neither protests nor "Arab spring" demonstrations as they were promoted at the time.

In fact, they were a riot during which civilians and residents were killed and wounded. The incident included attacks on judges, diplomats, banks, shops and security headquarters and sought to destabilize security and stability in the region.

The story was not in the position of the state, and with it the vast majority of the citizens of the town, in the face of tampering, riot and terrorism; it is the role of States and their duties to provide security for their citizens.

However, the real issue was the chaos that accompanied the riot, supported by states, organizations and international organizations, and caused to prolong terrorist acts promoted as "demonstrations" for citizens and "legitimate claims."

Years have passed and the Kingdom has succeeded in proving its credibility, supported by testimonies from officials, showing that what happened was terrorism.

There is no doubt that what the Arab world witnessed during the Arab Spring created a state of Western enthusiasm and support, innocent and malignant, in order to spread this "spring" to all those who took up arms against the state. It did not matter whether it was a regime that killed its people, like that of Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad, or a stable and secure country that protected its citizens from criminals and saboteurs, as in Saudi Arabia.

And today, after the skies have cleared and the Kingdom has proved its credibility against the flood of allegations and accusations, will the countries and parties proven wrong apologize for supporting a terrorism disguised in an "Arab Spring"?!