That’s the question posed by a member of the Shumukh forum. Below are a range of answers:
Abu Hajir (failure in Saudi):
- Clerics of beggary [i.e. they have their hand out for state money]
- The proximity of a theater like Iraq
- No suitable environment to move about or hide from the state
- The above only applies to Saudi Arabia; the brothers in Yemen are doing well
Abu Hajir (success in N. Africa):
- The rulers are manifestly not Muslims in the eyes of ordinary Muslims
- Rulers who impoverish their countries for the sake of warlords and the French
- Total war on the religion of God
- The experience of the militant groups in Algeria
- The desert that connects the Islamic countries of N. Africa with the Horn of Africa. It is unprotected.
safyahh (success in N. Africa):
- The long experience of the Salvation Front fighting the French
- Difficult terrain
- Diffusion of weapons
- Islamists have greater legitimacy because power was snatched from them by the military
Zanki2010 (failure in Saudi):
- Historical background of the Saudi state
- Saudi successfully duped all of the clerics in the ’60s and ’70s.
- The existence of sects in Saudi Arabia, particularly the Shia, that the Saudi state uses to scare the Sunnis, particularly Sunni clerics
- Major differences between traditional Salafi clerics and the Sahwa Salafi clerics who entered Saudi from other countries
- The jihads in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya drained the enthusiasm of the youth.
- The Saudi state fought the clerics with prison, buying them off, and heavy surveillance. It also duped them by implementing some of the more showy Islamic laws.
- The topography of Saudi Arabia makes guerrilla wars or wars of attrition difficult.
- Logistical and intelligence support from America and the Gulf States against the jihad
- Breaking Saudi society into factions by cultivating tribalism and buying the loyalty of tribal chiefs
- Passing laws that limit an individual’s activities
- N. Africa was exposed to several colonial conquests.
- The mountainous terrain is good for guerrilla warfare.
- The explicit unbelief of the regimes in N. Africa
- The depressing situation of the societies there
- The unity of the Islamist movement and Islamist discourse from ’88 to ’92
- The wide response of society to the Islamist discourse
- The state clerics have duped the people.
- Most of the people of the peninsula revere the clerics and prefer their opinions to those of the Qur’an and the Messenger.
- Al-Qaeda has been thoroughly infiltrated by the state security apparatus.