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The Meccan Rebellion: The Story of Juhayman al-'Utaybi Revisited

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 19th February 2014 10:36

The Meccan Rebellion: The Story of Juhayman al-'Utaybi Revisited

Based on new information gathered from extensive fieldwork in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, this account sheds light on the story and legacy of Juhayman al-‘Utaybi, the militant who led the 1979 takeover of Islam’s holiest site: the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Detailing the events that would set in motion numerous attacks  on the U.S. embassy in Pakistan and Shia uprisings in oil-rich areas of Saudi Arabia, this record offers insight into the religious inspiration behind the rebel leader’s message and acknowledges many unanswered questions: Who were the rebels and what did they want? Why and how did Juhayman’s group come into existence? What was Juhayman al-‘Utaybi’s ideological legacy and how have his writings influenced contemporary Islamist strains?


Additional Pertinent Reading:

The Siege of Mecca

20 November 1979: as morning prayers began, hundreds of hardline Islamist gunmen, armed with rifles smuggled in coffins, stormed the Grand Mosque in Mecca. With thousands of terrified worshippers trapped inside, the result was a bloody siege that lasted two weeks, caused hundreds of deaths, prompted an international diplomatic crisis and unleashed forces that would eventually lead to the rise of al Qaeda.

Journalist Yaroslav Trofimov takes us day-by-day through one of the most momentous – and heavily censored – events in recent history, interviewing many direct participants in the siege and drawing on secret documents to reveal the truth about the first operation of modern global jihad.

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

Brilliantly written, compelling and highly original, The Looming Tower is the first book to tell the full story of Al Qaeda from its roots up to 9/11. Drawing on astonishing interviews and first-hand sources, it investigates the extraordinary group of idealogues behind this organization - and those who tried to stop them. There is the tormented, resentful Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, who was horrified by the godlessness and decadence he perceived in America in 1948, and whose subsequent writings turned him into a martyr for Islamic extremists. There is Ayman al-Zawahiri: a devout student who, by the age of fifteen, had already helped to form an underground jihadist cell. There is the deeply contradictory Osama bin Laden: Saudi multimillionaire turned muhajideen commander, whose interests merged with al-Zawahiri's to form a global terror coalition. And there is the FBI's counterterrorism chief, the flamboyant, cigar-smoking John O'Neill, who found his warnings that 'something big' was coming continually ignored, and would finally meet his fate in the shadow of the Twin Towers.

Interweaving this extraordinary story with events including the Israeli-Palestine conflict, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the first attack on the World Trade Center, Lawrence Wright takes us into training camps, mountain hideouts and top secret meetings to explore how it all fed into the planning and execution of 9/11 - and reveals the real, complex origins of Al Qaeda's hatred of the West.

Wright's brilliantly acclaimed book now includes a new Afterword which covers events that have unfolded since publication, including the death of Osama Bin Laden

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 19th February 2014 13:14
Other similar and related books are:

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright - I did download it and read quite a bit of it but can't find the download link or the copy on my hard drive at the moment. It's a fantastic book and looks into from Juhayman and his ideology as well the Ikhwan and others who all "influenced" al-Qaeda.

The Siege of Mecca by Yaroslav Trofimov - I am considering to buy this book, anyone read it?
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 19th February 2014 13:16

Post merged into OP.

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 19th February 2014 13:31
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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Yes, that is the one. Shukran
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 20th November 2019 10:02
An insight of what happened and that day!

www.arabnews.com/node/1586076/media

Click on ENTER to see videos and and full article

'Position the snipers! Close the doors!' A hostile takeover during the dawn prayer

Includes a video from the moment when Juhayman's men seized the imam's microphone, from Dirk van den Berg's documentary "The Siege of Mecca."
The above link includes the deadly gunfire from the minarets in footage obtained from "The Siege of Mecca."
Hear one of the messages of Juhayman's group blaring out from the speakers.

Quote:
Prince Turki recalls meeting the wounded rebel leader in hospital after his capture. “When I came in, he looked up at me and he said, ‘Sir, I’m very regretful for what I did, and please, can you intercede for me with King Khaled, to forgive me?” My answer to him was, ‘You don’t deserve forgiveness, having done what you did,’ and that was the end of it.

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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 20th November 2019 22:55
How accurate is this? I read somewhere juhayman himself never claimed to be mehdi but others had all had same dream that he was the mehdi. Also his motivation was he saw the regime becomin too western and dogs of America.
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 21st November 2019 09:09
Guest-202475 wrote:
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You haven't read the article!

He didn't claim the be the Mahdi.

See the link in the post above. There is a photo of the dead Mohammed Al-Qahtani, the supposed Al-Mahdi. The brother in-law of Juhayman.
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 21st November 2019 18:46
Did he himself ever claim to be mehdi? Or did others throw that title at him. If they thought Saudi was too modern n western then imagine what they would think of it today. Got a WhatsApp video yday of a guy interviewing a Saudi man in a mall who walking around with his girlfriend saying its ok now in Saudi.
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd November 2019 08:37
mkdon101 wrote:
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The answer isn't extremism nor deception.

May Allah keep the Ummah on Siratal Mustaqeem.
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd November 2019 12:49

mkdon101 wrote:
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  1.  Juhayman ibn Muhammad ibn Sayf al-Otaybi is the person whose picture you usually see in the Media, he was the one who was arrested along with 60+
  2. Muhammad bin abd Allah al-Qahtani was his brother-in-law who claimed to be " (false) Mahdi" and Juhayman did Bay't on his hand and called people towards doing Bayt. He was shot & killed by Pakistani SSG who stormed Haram on that day. The "Rahbar" unit of Pakistan Army which responded put plenty of bullets in his body and then electrocuted and burned him alive!

Some say that Pakistani Army deliberately killed him and did not capture him alive when they captured Juhayman and 60 others, some say Saudees had explicitly told Pakistan Army to ensure that he was killed, not sure.

The dog got what he deserved!

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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd November 2019 11:41
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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How can they burn him alive if they shot him multiple times and electrocuted him.

I don't support what they did but do believe they were sincere and mislead.
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd November 2019 17:53

mkdon101 wrote:
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Due to how the operation unfolded.

  1. Saudi Army tried to quash the rebellion, took heavy casualties and retreated
  2. French Special Forces were employed and did initial recce but did not engage after the initial recce and requesting SSG of Pak Army to carry out the operation
  3. Rahbar company of SSG were dropped from the Minarets and into the courtyard. Snipers took out key targets, then filled the courtyard with water and electrocuted all standing there (i.e. burned them)

Much of the operation is still classified but many have speculated that either Pakistan Army shot (and then let him burn) OR Saudees asked the Pakistanees to do so because the same operation successfully arrested Juhayman and 60+ others. Saudees did not want a cult situation at their hands so they wanted him dead!

In simpler words, why was the order given for the sniper to take out Muhammad bin abd Allah al-Qahtani and then why was he allowed to burn? SSG snipers do not act without orders.

Since much of it is classified, I end this with...

Allah Ta'ala knows best

P.S: One disagreement with you, I am speaking of Muhammad bin abd Allah al-Qahtani (i.e. false Mahdi) and you are referring to Juhaymaan (which Pakistan Army did not kill!)

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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 24th December 2019 10:42
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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In the link I posted above (www.arabnews.com/node/1586076/media) by The Arab News on it's documentary, there is mention of the French forces and that they did not enter the Haram (to confirm what you have said)

However, what is mentioned is that the French trained special forces to carry out the operation. In the documentary, there is no mention of Pakistani forces. Maybe due to secretive agreements.

Quote:
It was not until midday on Saturday, Nov. 24, after hours of desperate fighting and many losses among the troops, that the gallery was finally cleared — but the battle for the mosque was far from over. Driven from the upper levels, Juhayman and the surviving insurgents, along with some hostages and prisoners they had captured, had retreated into the Qaboo, the warren of more than 225 interconnected chambers under the mosque.

Here, equipped with food, water and plenty of ammunition, they would hold out for more than a week, fighting off the security forces with everything from bullets and Molotov cocktails to burning rugs. At one stage the assaulting troops tried to flush out the insurgents with tear gas but this, according to an account in the book “The Siege of Makkah,” based on interviews with Saudi soldiers, “proved a complete fiasco.”

The author of the book, Yaroslav Trofimov, an Asia-based reporter for The Wall Street Journal, reported that the militants blocked the narrow underground passageways with mattresses and wrapped water-soaked headdresses around their faces. The gas, meanwhile, rose back up to the surface, causing more problems for the security forces than the militants.

Juhayman’s men also had a tactical advantage. Several of them had studied at the Grand Mosque and knew every centimeter of the maze. After several attempts throughout the following Monday and Tuesday to penetrate the Qaboo, it became clear that fighting room to room would cost too many lives, and so it was decided to try to drive out the militants with an altogether different type of gas.

On Sunday, Dec. 2, three advisers from France’s elite Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN) flew into Taif, bringing with them supplies of a chemical called dichlorobenzylidenemalononitrile. CB, for short, was a gas designed to seriously restrict breathing, and which was fatal if breathed in for too long. The French agents, who were not Muslims, could not enter Makkah, but they trained members of the General Intelligence Directorate in how to use it, equipping them with gas masks and chemical suits.

On the morning of Monday, Dec. 3, holes were drilled in the floor of the mosque and canisters of CB, attached to explosive charges, were dropped into the basement maze. Because of the layout of the interconnected rooms, the tactic was only partially effective and it took more than 18 hours of bitter, bloody fighting before the final stronghold was breached on Dec. 4.

In a room about two meters square were found cowering 20 thoroughly defeated militants, exhausted, hungry and covered with the grime of battle. The morale of the surviving militants may have been gradually weakened when Al-Qahtani was presumed killed on the third day or fourth day of the fighting, believes Al-Dhahri. As the days passed without seeing him, they could no longer hold on to the belief that the Mahdi could not be killed.

“His death changed the morale of the gunmen,” he said. “Afterwards, Juhayman killed or punished anyone who backed out of the operation.”

The troops found the last of the surviving insurgents huddled together, surrounded by the dates, water and labneh (a soft cheese made from strained yogurt) they had smuggled into the mosque along with their weapons. Among them was Juhayman.

Joining the last group to infiltrate, Brigadier general Al-Dhahri recognized him. Mindful of the need to extract as much information as possible from the man who had caused such upheaval and loss of life, he assigned a special squad to ensure his protection and safe passage into captivity.

It was Interior Minister Prince Naif who announced that the siege was over.


Quote:
Prince Naif had announced on Wednesday morning that as soldiers searched through the rubble, they had discovered the body of Mohammed Al-Qahtani, and a gruesome photograph of the body of the man that the rebels had claimed to be the Mahdi was broadcast on TV the following evening. Exactly how he died remains unclear. Some reports said that he had been dismembered by a grenade on the third day of the fighting and had died in agony over several days before his body was eventually identified by Saudi troops.

Prince Turki, however, is in no doubt that “the so-called Mahdi was shot by Juhayman ... I think they didn’t want him to be captured, according to their beliefs.”



Prince Turki in the video from the link also stated that, "The French were stationed in Taif, in the school of special security training belonging to Intelligence Service Istikhbarat. They spent a few days there training the Istikihbarat personnel....."


Did Musharraf really take part in the siege? (first 3 minutes 44 seconds then repeats)
Halalified YouTube Audio

www.youtube.com/watch?v=02pir7Tue2g

Regardless of any secrets, it is certain that Pakistan DID have a hand in helping The Saudi's the Siege of Makkah.
The Arab News wrote:
Dr. Moonis Ahmar, a professor of international relations at Karachi University, said that Pakistan developed strong relations with Saudi Arabia during former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s regime.

“During Gen. Zia-ul-Haq’s government military cooperation between the two countries strengthened further,” Ahmar said, adding that a Pakistan army division was deployed on Saudi Arabia’s request to reclaim the Grand Mosque in Makkah after insurgents seized it in November 1979.

Security analyst Imtiaz Gul said relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were linked to the friendship between King Faisal and Bhutto. “These ties then extended to military cooperation,” he said.
www.arabnews.com/node/1453816/saudi-arabia


Elsewhere, the same French are mentioned and then comes the Pakistani troops - with some contradictions :)
Quote:
Initially the Saudi authorities wanted to attack the compound without regard for the loss of hostages but it was prince Turki who suggested caution and under his responsibility summoned the French secret service officer Count Claude Alexandre de Marenches and appointed him as the overall advisor for the operation.

Count Claude Alexandre de Marenches suggested that the underground chambers and tunnels, where the self-proclaimed Mahdi had taken a stand and were holding the hostages as human shields, be gassed and then stormed.

A team of three French commandos from the Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN) arrived in Mecca and because of the prohibition against non-Muslims entering the holy city, they converted to Islam in a brief, formal ceremony. The commandos pumped gas into the underground chambers, but perhaps because the rooms were so bafflingly interconnected, the gas failed and the resistance continued.

With casualties climbing, the Pakistani SSG drilled holes into the courtyard and dropped grenades into the rooms below, indiscriminately killing many hostages but driving the remaining rebels into more open areas where they could be picked off by SSG sharpshooters. More than two weeks after the assault began, the surviving rebels finally surrendered.

Source
Istikhbarat.JPG
Downloads: 10
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 24th December 2019 10:56

abu mohammed wrote:
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Classified but confirmed by many Pak Army sources since retirement, sort of an open secret.

What is not confirmed is whether it was (Major) Parviaz Musharraf who commanded it or not, that may be up for debate.

The "Deobandi" opposition to the issue is due to personal pride. Whether Musharraf led the operation or not has no bearing on his judgement but "Deobandees" in their HATE want to somehow link the two separate issues
 
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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 24th December 2019 11:25
The Arab News has based its reports on this documentary The Siege of Mecca (2018)
Writer and Director: Dirk K. van den Berg

Federico Della Montagna wrote:
Hi, there is a new documentary on the event, by a team that has done 5 years of research on the subject: THE SIEGE OF MECCA

It seems they have uncovered quite interesting facts about the participation of French GIGN, not only what they did but why they did it. And once again, nothing about Pakistanis.

It wouldn’t make sense, in fact. Why should the Al Saud as the “custodians of the two holy mosques” leave the liberation of the most important shrine of Islam to ANYBODY else than… the Saudis? Think about it, the Saudi government’s legitimisation comes from protecting Mecca and Medina, even before the Third Saudi State came to life in 1932.

As a sidetone, it is strange that nobody mentions the Jordanians. King Hussein of Jordan flew to Riyadh on the second day of the event - there is ample historic factual proof of that - and offered help to King Khaled. But the Saudis never got back to the Jordanians, even if their specials forces were AT LEAST as well trained as the Pakistanis (the Jordanian army is British-trained, too, like Pakistan's army was in the first place). So why did the Saudis not accept their help, which would have been the easiest thing, being Jordan their direct neighbour and all? Because the Jordanians, the Hashemite Kingdom, were the ones who reigned over Mecca BEFORE King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud came and conquered it. So if I were Saudi in 1979, I bet that I’d never accept any help from those guys who ruled over Mecca before me…

Back to the French GIGN unit. You know they were three guys only? Three guys: Paul Barril, Christian Lambert and Ignace Wodecki. Each of them highly specialised in what they did. And it’s not that the French were shooting around or running commando ops in Mecca. Want to talk special forces in this Special Forces Forum? GIGN was founded after the Palestinian terror attacks on the 1972 Munich Olympics, because France wanted to prevent something similar from ever happening again. GIGN from its very beginning was specialised in HOSTAGE situations, and it still is today. Go to their website and you’ll find out that the most important part of their actions was to get the hostages liberated WITHOUT FIRING ONE BULLET. It’s all about strategy and diplomacy and being astute. There is a good documentary about them called “40 ans du GIGN” that came out some time ago about the 40 years of the GIGN.

So the three GIGN guys in Saudi only came to help with their huge strategic knowledge and experience, and with a very special gas. A gas that the Saudis previously had asked for to the Americans. But under President Jimmy Carter, the USA did not give those gases to non-democratic countries such as KSA. So the Saudis had to look elsewhere. At least this is what the facts say.

If these guys who did the new film haven’t found any evidence for Pakistanis in Mecca after 5 years of research, I think that story is finally nothing more than a legend. Which is what I always thought. Because history should not become Trump territory, where people can say all sorts of things just because they have “an opinion”. In history what counts are the facts and the proof for the facts. Sure you can say “the Pakistani forces were there,” (like Usman Waqar and others did).


Sometimes, real facts are taken out for the protection of others or due to other deals :)

Some things are hidden or changed to paint a different picture. Like The the murder of a journalist and so on! :(

Maybe Saudi don't want to praise Pakistan for now or maybe there was a secret deal and no mention is to be made about Pakistanis in Saudi.

This could also be possible so some Pakistani troops could stay behind in the guise of cleaners and yearly, new troops are sent to the Haram (as was once mentioned)

There could be multiple reasons why Pakistan's involvement is not mentioned.

The director of the documentary may have only wanted to emphasis on the French involvement!


Trailer vimeo.com/ondemand/siegeofmecca
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