Accessibility links

Saudi Press Touts Report That IS Has Almost No Grassroots Support


The poll showed that only 2 percent of Saudis polled said they had a "very positive" attitude toward IS, while 3 percent said they were "fairly positive" toward the extremist group.

The poll showed that only 2 percent of Saudis polled said they had a "very positive" attitude toward IS, while 3 percent said they were "fairly positive" toward the extremist group.

While Saudi media reports on a survey that shows the Islamic State (IS) group has almost no popular support in Saudi Arabia, an image of the black IS banner near Riyadh is circulating on social media.

Saudi Arabia's Anaween news website reported on October 16 that only 5 percent of Saudis support IS.

Anaween was referring to a survey conducted in September in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt by the Fikra Forum and commissioned by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP).

The poll showed that only 2 percent of Saudis polled said they had a "very positive" attitude toward IS, while 3 percent said they were "fairly positive" toward the extremist group.

The report did not mention the Saudi foreign fighter presence in Syria. At the end of April, Aaron Y. Zelin, an analyst with WINEP, estimated that there could be around 600 Saudis fighting in Syria. It is not known how many Saudis are fighting with IS.

Saudi pan-Arab newspaper "Al-Hayat" reported that it had tallied 12 Saudis among 20 IS militants announced as being killed in suicide bombings carried out in five Iraqi cities between this past September and the beginning of October. The newspaper said that this indicates that Saudis are being used as pawns in IS.

Meanwhile, pro-IS and other social-media accounts have been circulating an image of the black IS banner that they said was placed near Riyadh and which indicated local Saudi support for IS.

-- Joanna Paraszczuk

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world. The blog's primary author, James Miller, closely covered the first three years of the Arab Spring, with a focus on Syria, and is now the managing editor of The Interpreter, where he covers Russia's foreign and domestic policy and the Kremlin's wars in Syria and Ukraine. Follow him on Twitter: @Millermena

Subscribe

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG