The extended family of the man who blew himself up near a mosque in Dammam in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province have disavowed him, saying that he did not represent them in any way.
Four people were killed when Khalid Al Shimmari committed his terror act next to Al Husain Mosque in the Anood district in the large coastal city.
“We are here to present our condolences to the families of the victims and to declare that we have nothing to do with terrorists and extremists, including the criminal who blew himself up,” Sultan Al Shimmari, a leader within the Shimmari tribe in north Saudi Arabia, said.
“We do not consider him a member of our tribe and we distance ourselves fully from him and from all those who are like him. He does not represent our tribe in any way,” he said as he and a delegation from the tribe sat with the victims’ families in Dammam.
Sultan said he was grateful the families at the condolences site gave them a gracious reception.
“They welcomed us and we are grateful for that. We could see that they were very proud of their sons who sacrificed themselves for the sake of the other worshippers at the mosque,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Sharq on Sunday.
Reports said the four, including two brothers, were killed as they tried to prevent the suicide bomber, disguised as a woman, to enter the mosque where the worshippers congregated for the prayers on Friday.
The victims had doubts about the presence of a “woman”, clad all in black, heading towards the mosque during the prayers and approached “her”.
However, the bomber, realizing he had been discovered, blew himself up, killing those around him. The interior ministry later said he used RDX explosives.
“All of us have to assume together the responsibility of promoting moderation and peaceful co-existence,” Sultan said. “Schools have to instill the noble notions of coexistence between all sects in our students since an early age, especially when their classes comprise students from various sects,” he said.
Disavowal by families or tribes in the Gulf is considered among the harshest punishments against a member.
In May, the family of the Saudi suicide bomber who blew himself up inside a mosque killing 22 worshippers had disavowed him, saying they had nothing to do with his terrorist act.
“The family members strongly condemn this outrageous action and distance themselves from him as they reiterate their pledge of allegiance to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Deputy Prince Mohammad Bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman,” the family said in a statement.
“The Qashami family extends its condolences to the families of the deceased and expresses its wishes of a speedy recovery for the injured. We are all united in the country against deviationist views and ideologies and against anyone who attempts to target our nation and people.”
The family added that it would call for stringent action against anyone who incites Saudis to carry out heinous acts.
Saleh Al Qashami committed the suicide attack inside Imam Ali mosque in Qadeeh, a small town in the Eastern province. The town is still under reeling the attack that also left 101 wounded.
By Habib Toumi