Cómo tratar a Al Qaeda

PRINCETON – Si bien el liderazgo, las creencias y la ideología de Al Qaeda están arraigados en Arabia Saudita, la organización ha resultado aplastada en el reino por una política gubernamental que combina una zanahoria grande y un palo aún mayor. El intento de asesinato en Jeddah el mes pasado del príncipe Muhammad bin Nayef, el viceministro del Interior para Asuntos de Seguridad, demuestra ambos elementos de la estrategia saudita y cómo ha fallado un intento audaz de parte de Al Qaeda de revivir sus fortunas.

El atacante era Abdullah Asiri, un ciudadano saudita y miembro de Al Qaeda que había regresado de Yemen, diciendo que había renunciado al terrorismo y que quería entregarse directamente al príncipe Muhammad en su palacio. Más temprano ese día, el príncipe había hecho traer al atacante en su avión privado desde la frontera yemení-saudita y, según se dice, había ordenado que no lo requisaran meticulosamente. Pero Asiri había escondido una bomba dentro de su cuerpo, un explosivo de medio kilo que detonó cerca del príncipe. Sin embargo, la bomba no estaba recubierta en metal y el terrorista fue la única persona que murió.

Para un observador externo, el episodio parece un fracaso colosal de seguridad, como si el jefe del FBI personalmente le diera la bienvenida a uno de los lugartenientes de Bin Laden en una fiesta al aire libre. Pero esta forma altamente personalizada de hacer política es precisamente la que la realeza saudita ha adoptado para con los miembros que desertan de Al Qaeda. De hecho, esta política, incluso con sus riesgos, explica en parte la derrota de Al Qaeda en Arabia Saudita. La política altamente personalizada forma parte de lo que podría llamarse el teatro de estado de Arabia Saudita, que mantiene a la realeza bien asentada en el poder.

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