Attacks by Islamic State (IS) militants have continued through the Ramadan holiday as arrests of 431 suspected IS militants have been reported by Saudi Arabia. The announcement was made following an IS attack near the nation’s highest security prison on Thursday. In typical fashion, a car bomb was exploded at a checkpoint, but killed only the driver. Saudi Arabia has claimed that numerous plots by IS terrorists have been thwarted in recent months.
Alleged offenses include smuggling explosives, surveying potential attack sites, and manufacturing suicide vests. IS has called for attacks on Saudi Arabia and recently killed 25 people in May as a result of two Shi’ite mosque bombings. In June, 27 more were killed in a suicide bombing, also at a Shi’ite mosque.
One of IS’s stated priorities is the removal of Shi’ite Muslims from Saudi Arabia and the Arabian peninsula in general. As Sunnis and Shi’ites continue to kill each other in the region, Obama and other U.S. diplomats have been attempting to push tolerance, despite a history of conflict between the two groups dating back to the 7th century.
On Friday, one of the deadliest IS attacks took place in Iraq, killing more than 100 people in a truck bomb explosion. This particular attack involved the driver of an ice truck, who lured in customers to his truck with the announcement of a discount in honor of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan. The city where the attack took place was also a mostly Shi’ite area. Despite the constant refrain on some American media of an Islamic war on America, most victims of Islamic attacks continue to be other Muslims. With such terrible attacks continuing through Ramadan, the holiest days of Islam, the hope for this conflict to dwindle out of existence seems to be very small.