December 2, 2014 / 5:18 AM / 3 years ago

Islamic State followers say they were behind Riyadh shooting

RIYADH (Reuters) - A group of supporters of Islamic State has released a video that it says shows its members carrying out a shooting in Saudi Arabia last week of a Danish national who survived the attack, SITE Monitoring reported.

The film could not be independently verified but Saudi Arabia said on Nov. 22 a Dane had been shot in the shoulder as he left his work in Riyadh and was in a stable condition.

Islamic State last month called on supporters in Saudi Arabia, which is participating in strikes against the group in Syria, to attack Shi‘ite Muslims, government officials and Westerners.

The Interior Ministry told Reuters last month it had identified at least 2,000 Saudis who had gone to fight in Syria and Iraq, but that 600 of them had returned to the kingdom and were in detention and others had died.

Authorities have frequently voiced concern that the conflict in Syria and Iraq and the emergence of Islamic State could spur domestic attacks. The last campaign by militants in Saudi Arabia killed hundreds between 2003-06.

In early November, Sunni militants, who the government said were linked to Islamic State, killed eight Shi‘ites in the Eastern Province. Authorities have since arrested more than 70 people suspected of links to the attack.

On Sunday, media reported that a Canadian had been injured in a stabbing by a Saudi in a shopping mall in Eastern Province, but a motive had not been identified.

In October, a U.S. citizen was shot dead and one injured in a shooting at a petrol station in Riyadh. The authorities said a personal motive appeared likely because both men had worked for the same company.

Saudi authorities have said they are investigating the attack on the Dane.

The video was released by al-Battar Media Foundation and claimed to show an operation by “Supporters of the Islamic State in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques”, SITE reported, referring to the name some Islamists use for Saudi Arabia.

It includes clips of speeches by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the group’s spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, calling on Saudis “to kill and spit upon” citizens of Western countries involved in fighting the group.

The video, filmed from inside a vehicle driving along a street with signposts showing Riyadh neighborhoods, shows a handgun being fired through an open window at a white car traveling in the same direction.

Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Robert Birsel

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