Driven by radical beliefs, twin brothers allegedly killed their mother in Saudi Arabia after she tried to stop them from joining ISIS in Syria in a case that outraged Saudi Arabians worried about rising Islamic terrorism.
The June 24 killing, in a country where respect for elders is seen as a bedrock of society, whipped up a storm of debate over the possible influence of a mediaeval Islamic scholar revered as a forerunner of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam.
Saudi interior ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki said the pair were suspects in the killing.
“The only thing (we have established) is that they (the twins) follow Takfiri ideology,” Turki said, using a phrase which Saudi authorities use to refer to Islamist militancy. “The case is still under investigation,” said the spokesman, who declined to give further details.
In a statement after the attack, the interior ministry said that the twins, Khaled and Saleh al-Oraini, were arrested on suspicion of stabbing their 67-year-old mother Haila, their 73-year-old father and their 22-year-old brother at the family home in the capital Riyadh.
The mother, who died of her wounds, had objected to her sons joining ISIS terrorists in Syria, Saudi media reported.
The father and brother were in hospital in a serious condition, while the alleged attackers were arrested trying to flee across the border to Yemen, media said.
“Had this come from drug addicts or ignorant youth, it would not have been unusual,” Saudi writer Mohammad Ali al-Mahmoud told Reuters. “The shock is that it came from a pair of religious children acting in the name of Islam.”
There have been similar cases of other killings of close relatives by ISIS members, including a widely reported incident in January in which a suspected militant killed his mother in public in the Syrian city of Raqqa because she had encouraged him to leave the group.
The case has caused impassioned debate because Islam teaches that devotion to caring for elders is a pathway to heaven.
(Feature Image Source: Twitter)