The most senior Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia is claiming that Islamic State terrorists are actually Israeli military. Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz has also said that the coalition of 34 Muslim countries assembled by Saudi Arabia will defeat them. The Islamic State is also known as “Daesh” in Arabic.
 
Aziz’s statement followed a purported call by the leader of ISIS -  Abu Bakr al Baghdadi – to the people of the Oil Kingdom to rise up against their rulers and to attack Israel. "With the help of Allah, We are getting closer to you every day," al-Baghdadi told his listeners earlier this week. "The Israelis will soon see us in Palestine. This is no longer a war of the crusaders against us. The entire world is fighting us right now." Aziz dismissed the Islamic State’s threat as a “lie” while claiming that the terrorist organization is a unit of the Israeli army.
 
Aziz said in an interview with the Saudi Gazette, “This threat against Israel is simply a lie. Actually, Daesh is part of the Israeli soldiers.” The Grand Mufti also chairs the Senior Scholars’ Commission and Ifta Council. In addition, Aziz averred that the Islamic State is causing great harm to fellow Muslims and denigrating Islam. 
The Grand Mufti’s claims are not novel in the world of conspiracy theories. His latest claims are among previous statements and religious rulings. For example, Aziz once called for all Christian churches in the Arabian Peninsula to be destroyed. He also once issued a fatwa – a religious ruling – that would permit men to marry girls of the age of 10.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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