Ali al-Faqasi, a controversial inmate serving a three-decade sentence in Saudi jails, had played a role in organizing the Riyadh compound bombing in May 2003. The ex-Qaeda member surrendered shortly after being named as one of the Kingdom’s most wanted terrorists.
Rumored to have been an associate of senior al-Qaeda leaders Saif al-Adel, Abu Mohammed al-Masri and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Faqasi was reported to have been al-Qaeda’s second in command in Saudi Arabia, prior to his June 26, 2003 surrender.
Faqasi, in an exclusive interview on furlough with Rotana Khalijia Liwan program's TV host, revealed how he served al-Qaeda at the peak of the terror group’s crimes.
Recalling how the September 11 attacks changed the nature of the terrorist group’s formation, Faqasi said: “We fled Afghanistan a few months ahead of the September 11 attacks - but the terror work remained open. Whoever can operate from anywhere, from Afghanistan to Syria, was asked to do so.”
“I returned to Saudi Arabia under the instructions of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who tasked me with forming a terror cell.”
As for al-Qaeda’s affiliation with Iran, Faqasi said that the group’s notorious Saif al-Adel leader operates from within the cleric-led country.
Faqasi went over the roles many countries played in allowing al-Qaeda personnel to achieve their goals.
Iran directly facilitated his transit to Pakistan, whilst Qatar acted as a secure funding channel for the group, he said. More so, the admitted ex-Qaeda member revealed that Qatar’s official propaganda outlet, Al Jazeera, often backed what the terror group was trying to achieve on a regional level.
“Osama Bin Laden’s goal was in line (with Al Jazeera), whereby both sought to destabilize the security of Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia.”
Expressing his deepest regrets, Faqasi blames the group’s pundits selling him anti-state edicts.
Changed, Faqasi said: “I’m thankful for the revolution being led by our Crown Prince--we are living a real awakening. I am reassured that my son is protected and entrusted to the homeland.”