Meet the most evil twins this side of the Islamic world. 20-year-old brothers Khaled and Saleh al-Oraini were arrested by Saudi authorities in Riyadh for stabbing their mother, father, and older brother for refusing to join ISIS. The twin’s 67-year-old mother Haila died of her grievous wounds after the June 24 attack. The 73-year-old father and 22-year-old brother are currently being treated at a local hospital. They remain in serious condition.
A worried parent, Haila attempted to stop the brothers from joining the Islamic State in Syria. “Had this come from drug addicts or ignorant youth, it would not have been unusual,” a Saudi writer familiar with the case told Reuters. “The shock is that it came from a pair of religious children acting in the name of Islam.”
The twin brothers have been arrested by Saudi police for the heinous crime of matricide. This comes as the kingdom begins the cleanup process to rebuild the structures destroyed by a coordinated ISIS suicide bomb attack over the weekend. Late Sunday, ISIS militants struck Medina, Jeddah, and Qatif during the Ramadan celebrations.
While Saudi police ultimately foiled the attacks and prevented major civilian casualties, the attacks underlined ISIS’ willingness to strike even the most devout Islamic societies in the world.
The Islamic State follows many of the same ideological forebears as the government-sanctioned clerics of the Saudi Kingdom. Although ISIS opposes Saudi Arabia’s existence as a monarchy, the group shares many of the same Wahabist beliefs as the puritanical House of Saud. Reuters explains:
Some scholars and media commentators have asked if it was the teachings of Ibn Taymiyya, a 13th century Islamic scholar from Damascus known for his fatwas (religious opinion) about takfir that were behind young militants killing family members they regarded as apostates.
Islamic State embraces the concept of takfir, often quoting Ibn Taymiyya to exhort its followers to kill other Muslims seen as apostates, including relatives. The word takfir is derived from the Arabic word kafer, which means unbeliever.
It was Ibn Taymiyya who inspired the founder of Wahhabism, the 18th century Sheikh Mohammed Ibn Abdul-Wahhab. Wahhabism, the religious movement espoused by rulers of Saudi Arabia, demands rigid adherence to what it sees as Islam’s original practices and a rejection of more modern ideas.
These links, as well as shared practices such as the use of beheading as a means of execution, led some Western commentators to accuse Riyadh of sympathy with groups like Islamic State which holds territory in Iraq and Syria.
This isn’t the first time devoutly religious Muslim children have slaughtered their parents in the pursuit of a higher calling from ISIS. In January, an ISIS militant brutally murdered his own mother in Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the Islamic State, after she attempted to pull him away from the terrorist group.