Video: Saudi Cleric Survives Assassination Attempt in the Philippines

In a possible hit for the Islamic State, an assassin dies trying to kill a Saudi cleric.

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The assassin pushes through a crowd of Filipinos walking alongside a white SUV to shoot his handgun through the car’s open passenger seat window at point blank range — and then empties his clip on the other side.

His targets? Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni, a Wahhabi Saudi preacher wanted dead by the Islamic State, and Sheikh Turki Assaegh, a religious attaché at the Saudi embassy in Manila. Both of them sustained multiple gunshots but survived their attempted murders.

The shooting, which took place Tuesday night in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga, came shortly after the Islamic State placed the Wahhabi preacher on a hit list published in the latest edition of its monthly English-language magazine, Dabiq. The extremist group accused the preacher of deviating from Islam and called on sympathizers to carry out a “lone wolf” assassination.

Authorities identified Tuesday’s assailant, who was killed during the attack, as 21-year-old Rugasan Kiliste Misuari III, a fifth-year engineering student. They also arrested two suspected accomplices. The police have not yet commented on whether or not his assassination attempt was inspired by the Islamic State.

A local television station aired footage of the attack. Watch below:


Image credit: Mensahe television/via YouTube

Henry Johnson is a fellow at Foreign Policy. He graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in history and previously wrote for LobeLog. Twitter: @HenryJohnsoon

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