Siege of Mecca and Juhayman al-Otaibi: CIA and GIGN operatives converted to Islam
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Juhayman ibn Muhammad ibn Sayf al-Otaibi believed that an Islamic uprising was needed in order to create a more fundamentalist Sunni Islamic state. From an outside point of view this may appear rather strange given the fact that Islamic Sharia law governs Saudi Arabia and not one single Christian church or Buddhist temple is allowed. However, according to Juhayman al-Otaibi the ruling elites in Saudi Arabia were self-serving and radical change was needed.
This single event in late 1979 still shakes the Sunni Islamic world today and the same applies to covert work done by CIA operatives. After all, the government of America violated the Constitution because CIA operatives were allowed to be converted to Islam in order to enter Mecca and to participate in quelling the uprising. The French government, the so-called bastion of secularism, allowed their commandos to be converted to Islam also in order that they could help different Saudi units to kill the jihadists.
Religion and state is meant to be separate in America but CIA operatives were told to convert to Islam. This fact is a side issue but it shows you the clandestine nature of certain agencies in America and it signifies that government elites will do anything in order to protect Saudi Arabia.
Of course, the same applies to France which participated in killing Sunni Muslim conservatives who believed that all non-Muslims must be expelled from Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the most powerful majority Christian nation in the world (America) and the most potent secular state (France) were involved in the attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
It must also be stated that apart from one individual connected with the bin Laden family, every other militant was beheaded within a very short period after being captured. This fact, shows the nature of Saudi Arabian law and how fickle human rights are in America, France, and the United Kingdom, because Western nations were involved in crushing this revolt and they understood the consequences of what would happen. Therefore, Juhayman al-Otaibi and his followers were written out of the history books and why so little footage given the severe nature of this event in the Western media?
If you fast forward to September 11 then it is clear that it doesn’t matter if the American government is Democrat or Republican. This applies to nearly every national who did September 11 coming from Saudi Arabia. Also, it is clear that ratlines existed between certain elites in Saudi Arabia and terrorist networks which did the terrorist attack against the people of America. However, this event meant little within powerful circles in Washington with regards to the role of Saudi Arabia and instead secular Iraq, with a Christian Deputy Prime Minister, was attacked and bombed. The irony being that Western powers re-installed Islamic Sharia law in Iraq, just like they had in Afghanistan and radical Sunni Islamists (the majority from Saudi Arabia) entered the Sunni-Shia civil war in this nation.
Turning back to the Siege of Mecca in 1979 when Juhayman al-Otaibi and his followers stormed Mecca. It becomes clear that this galvanized America and Saudi Arabia to further bankroll Sunni Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and bordering regions of Pakistan. After all, the elites in Saudi Arabia needed a distraction and America was worried about the repercussions of this extremely important event.
The year 1979 in the Islamic world was dramatic and this applies to the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet Union entering Afghanistan, and the Siege of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. However, the greater event was the Siege of Mecca because for America and Saudi Arabia the crisis in Afghanistan was a welcome distraction. Therefore, funding Sunni Islamic terrorism was a great way to take the “heat” of elites within Saudi Arabia and to unify Sunni Islamists into their version of an Islamic jihad.
At the same time, it is also clear that the Islamic ulema violated the words of the prophet Mohammed because killing is forbidden in the Grand Mosque. However, the Islamic ulema supported the attack against the jihadists and Saudi units, the French National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN), CIA operatives who were involved in the planning, and other covert security agencies, stormed the Grand Mosque and killed hundreds of Sunni jihadists. The true extent of the attack was hidden in general from the outside world but the repercussions remain powerful today.
In an earlier article published by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “The Saudi Arabian regime in 1979 faced a major crisis because the siege of Mecca could have led to severe pressure on the House of Saud. Therefore, the regime turned to America in order to crush the uprising. CIA operatives were sent to help.” Ziauddin Sardar states in his article called “The battle at Islam’s heart” (1 November 2007 – The New Statesman) that “A horde of CIA operatives was quickly converted to Islam so that they could enter the Holy City to assess the battlefield for themselves. They recommended chemical warfare.”
Therefore, the French GIGN which is a specialist counter-terrorism unit and which is trained in hostage taking events, alongside CIA operatives, were converted to Islam with the blessing of political elites in both America and France. The conversions lacked sincerity and is clear evidence that the House of Saud, the Islamic ulema in Saudi Arabia, the slave mentality of America and France which would do anything for the monarchy, all worked hand in hand. Irrespective if individuals agree with crushing the jihadist uprising, it is clear that individuals like Osama bin Laden would understand this event from “an Islamic point of view” and this applies to violating the Grand Mosque of Mecca. The trade-off between the Saudi regime and the religious leaders of Saudi Arabia was that they would be allowed to do whatever they liked apart from threatening the ruling elites. Therefore, terrorism in “not our backyard” was implemented and radical organizations were allowed to spread their ideology throughout the world and clearly with great success.
Ziauddin Sardar further comments that “Thus began, on the morning of 20 November 1979, the Siege of the Sacred Mosque. What happened during the next two weeks has had a profound impact on most of the Muslim world.”
He continues by stating that “The insurgents were led by a Bedouin preacher, Juhayman bin Seif al-Uteybi, and his brother- in-law Mohammed Abdullah al-Qahtani, the alleged Mahdi. The rebels included Egyptians, Pakistanis and American converts, but most were Saudis from the Oteiba tribe, which had actually helped King Abdul Aziz, founder of Saudi Arabia, to seize control of the Arabian Peninsula in 1902. They believed that the royal family had become corrupt, that the state was promoting heresy, that religious scholars were collaborating with the royal family in spreading immoral practices and that Saudi Arabia had become obsessed with money and consumerism. I knew their kind rather well.”
It was also reported that you had a connection with the bin Laden family because “In the 1960s Osama bin Laden’s half-brother Mahrous bin Laden joined a rebel group opposed to the Saudi government. With his assistance, in 1979 the rebels smuggled weapons into Mecca using trucks belonging to the bin Laden family company. Five hundred rebels then seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca (sic), Islam’s holiest mosque in its holiest city. They try, but fail, to overthrow the Saudi royal family. All the men who took part are later beheaded except Mahrous. Eventually he is released from prison because of the close ties between the bin Ladens and the Saudi royal family. Mahrous apparently abandons the rebel cause and joins the family business. He is eventually made a head of the Medina branch and a member of the board. He will still hold these positions on 9/11. But a newspaper reports that “his past [is] not forgiven and most important decisions in the [bin Laden family business] are made without Mahrous’ input.” (Collection of sources – Sunday Herald (Glasgow), 10/7/21; Ha’aretz ,12/18/2002; and New Yorker, 11/5/2001)
Juhayman al-Otaibi was a powerful leader despite the lack of followers who supported his logic. He believed firmly that the House of Saud was polluting Islam and that materialism was destroying the fabric of society alongside other important factors. Therefore, he and his followers stormed Mecca in order to challenge the ruling elites and this event led to shockwaves within the Sunni Islamic community.
Over two weeks you had an Islamic jihad against the Saudi regime and hundreds of Islamists were killed by a mixture of forces. Mecca had become a battleground and a place full of blood and devastation. Accounts vary about the forces which were instrumental in protecting the House of Saud but America, France, and Pakistan played their role and the CIA gave powerful support.
Shortly afterwards, Afghanistan would become a rallying call in spreading radical Sunni Islam and clearly America had a shared objective with the House of Saud. Therefore, “several birds could be killed with one stone.” This applies to a much needed distraction for Saudi Arabia; the need to retake the mantle of being the guardians of Sunni Islam; to undermine the role of Iran within the Muslim world because they followed the Shia faith; and to defeat communism in Afghanistan and unleash a brutal war for the Soviet Union.
Therefore, from the siege of Mecca to the war in Afghanistan you had a shared geopolitical interest for both America and Saudi Arabia, alongside the CIA and other security operatives, who would covertly support Islamic terrorism via Pakistan. Firm objectives and ties were being made and Pakistan would also witness Islamization under General Zia- ul-Haq and once more it is clear that America favored General Zia-ul-Haq over democratic forces in India.
America and the United Kingdom would also allow Saudi Arabia to spread their version of Islam in both nations. This can be seen by huge funding to vast numbers of Sunni Islamic causes and even in jails both America and the United Kingdom would allow radical Sunni Islamic preachers to convert prisoners.
Turning back to the Siege of Mecca then clearly the Cold War was still in full swing. Therefore, this event was sidelined despite the importance of this crisis and Afghanistan was a godsend to all interested parties.
However, in late 1979 the Grand Mosque in Mecca was a battleground where blood was spilled in many areas of this mosque. The House of Saud, CIA, GIGN, and other international security agencies, were allowed to plan and assist in the killing of jihadists who had stormed Mecca. From this moment, al-Qaeda would be given “the green light” along with so many Sunni international terrorist organizations. The first rallying call would become Afghanistan and then America would allow the same Islamists to slit the throats of Orthodox Christians in Bosnia and once more these images were hidden to the outside world.
If images of the Siege of Mecca had been shown throughout the Islamic world, then it would have shown dead bodies all over Mecca. Also, with CIA operatives and the French GIGN being allowed to convert to Islam then this would have gone down badly because these conversions were a sham. Not only this, the government of America is not meant to promote the conversion of people to any faith and this is a clear violation of the Constitution of America and the same applies to France.
If media outlets had shown images of hundreds of Islamists being killed in Mecca whereby Saudi security forces and non-Saudi units were bombing Mecca, then clearly this would have inflamed the Sunni Islamic world. The House of Saud in time would completely finish the job by beading all captors apart from one individual who was a member of the bin Laden family group. Therefore, Juhayman al-Otaibi was turned into a non-entity whereby he disappears from history and nothing more remains.
In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “The relatively unknown event which happened in Mecca in 1979 certainly can be linked to events in Afghanistan and the Balkans. This applies to the push for supporting radical Sunni Islam after this event in order to crush an internal Islamic threat. Therefore, Afghanistan became a convenient unifying factor. In turn, the Islamic network system and the use of Islamic charities in this conflict would be used in order to spread and support the Muslim cause in Bosnia.”
“America and the green flag of Islam which is being led by Saudi Arabia may have different long-term objectives despite sharing similar goals since (and before) 1979 to the current period. However, Islamists are now embarking on a stealth jihad within the democratic world and America, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and others, need to understand that while certain nations may have long term goals it is clear that Islamists have long term objectives and this applies to Islamization.”
“Even September 11 was manipulated by America because we all know that the majority of the Islamists came from Saudi Arabia and Bosnia was also an Islamic stepping stone in enabling this to happen. Therefore, former allies who supported terrorist networks in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Pakistan, in order to boost the foreign policy objectives of America and Saudi Arabia now became enemies after September 11.”
Afghanistan was a way of crushing internal Islamic factions in Saudi Arabia by giving them a free hand to export radical Sunni Islam internationally. In a similar way September 11 was manipulated by the government of America and security agencies. Also, the media was utilized in order to create a new threat. This convenient threat was Iraq but the main purpose was to distract internal political movements in America who wanted to focus on the Saudi angle and the role of Saudi Arabia in spreading radical Sunni Islam.
Not one individual from the regime of Iraq was involved in September 11 and the issue of human rights doesn’t enter the equation. After all, when the Iraqi regime used chemical weapons against the Kurds little was said. Given this, Iraq became a distraction whereby Saudi Arabia would escape the wrath of September 11.
Therefore, the Siege of Mecca enabled the international Sunni Islamist movement to spread their ideology externally on condition that they never threatened the elites of Saudi Arabia. At the same time, Sunni Islamic ratlines and Western powers manipulated Afghanistan and Bosnia by covertly supporting radical Sunni Islamists. However, September 11 was evidence of not only “blowback” but of the ratline links because nearly everybody involved were Saudi nationals. Also, several Islamists who were involved in September 11 had been based in Bosnia and obtained valuable experience in killing not only Orthodox Christians, but in terrorist activities and all courtesy of “a blind American policy.”
The spirit of Juhayman al-Otaibi was alive within individuals like Osama bin Laden but from a different perspective. Juhayman al-Otaibi wasn’t concerned about exporting radical Sunni Islam because his concern was Saudi Arabia. More important, Juhayman al-Otaibi didn’t support killing innocents on the grounds of so-called Islamic jihad. Instead, he was focused on Islamic jihad because he believed that the Muslim ulema and elites in Saudi Arabia were turning against the Koran.
However, the spirit of Juhayman al-Otaibi was within Osama bin Laden when it came to outside forces influencing and protecting Saudi Arabia. In the mindset of Osama bin Laden it was a violation of Islam to allow America and other non-Muslim majority nations to protect the well being of Saudi Arabia. Juhayman al-Otaibi was also scornful about this and he wanted all non-Muslims to be expelled from Saudi Arabia. However, Juhayman al-Otaibi was a much bigger threat than Osama bin Laden because he wanted to overthrow the ruling elites in the House of Saud.
Therefore, the Siege of Mecca was the real turning point in the covert war in Afghanistan which received greater funding and attention because of this event. The period of late November and December in 1979 in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan remain potent today. If Juhayman al-Otaibi and his loyal forces hadn’t stormed Mecca then the potency of Afghanistan would have been reduced and the power of Islamism would have been kept in check more in Saudi Arabia.
Yet the Siege of Mecca threatened the status quo therefore a trade-off was made and from this period you have many murky deals between several nations involved in spreading radical Sunni Islam. For conservative clerics in Saudi Arabia and organizations it is their duty to spread the Sunni Islamic faith because they deem all non-Muslims and non-Sunni Muslims to be infidels. At the same time, Sunni Islamic terrorist ratlines could co-exist alongside American foreign policy objectives and the foreign policy objectives of other Western nations. Therefore, Afghanistan and Bosnia are clear evidence of the link between both competing forces which united in a common cause.
September 11 over-stepped the mark and after this America would turn against Sunni Islamic terrorism which was aimed at America. However, America and Saudi Arabia would remain aloof providing events didn’t threaten either nation internally. Despite this, the spirit of Juhayman al-Otaibi remains alive within parts of the international Sunni Islamist movement. This applies to his thinking that all foreign influence should be forced out of Saudi Arabia, the ending of the reliance on Western powers to protect this nation, the eviction of all non-Muslims, the ending of rampant materialism amongst the elites of Saudi Arabia, preventing female equality in law, and so forth.
Juhayman al-Otaibi was a threat to the Saudi elites but the policies of powerful Western nations have created a bigger threat which expressed itself by the events of September 11, when blowback happened against innocent American civilians. The reverberations of the Siege of Mecca remain today with elites in Saudi Arabia being concerned by domestic issues and foreign powers have been engulfed by not understanding the bigger picture. Therefore, the attack which happened in 1979 during the Siege of Mecca remains within the internal convulsions of the Sunni Islamic world and nations which sold their soul during this event continue to have learned nothing.
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