US President Joe Biden did not come out to talk about a declassified intelligence report regarding the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as scheduled.
Perhaps due to the fragility of the report, the White House was satisfied with a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calling on Riyadh to dismantle what it called the “rapid intervention forces”, which it said were known as the “Tiger Squad”, which was announced earlier on its inclusion on the US Treasury Department’s sanctions list.
Following the disclosure of the intelligence report, which came in 3 pages, one of which includes its title, and a party of speculative expressions, conclusions and assessments that were not supported by any evidence, the US media was disappointed after the atmosphere was prepared for a thrilling story to feed on for weeks.
Disappointment accompanied by a wave of anger in the Arab and Islamic worlds at the targeting of Saudi Arabia, which apparently prompted the Oval Office to amend its plan by giving thirsty people to fish in troubled waters an opportunity to write a Hollywood story about the alleged expeditionary force, which he said bore the name “Tiger Squad.”
What is the story of that alleged band?
On the official Saudi level, there is no security, military, or intelligence division in the Kingdom bearing the name of the “Tiger” division, and no Saudi media outlet has ever attacked the name of that division, either explicitly or hinting.
The only source of information about this alleged band is either opponents of the kingdom or hostile media outlets.
Hence, the discussion about that group, its arming, and its tasks differs from one media outlet to another, according to the whim of that medium and the writer’s imagination, and the extent of the hostility and hatred within the kingdom.
Even the media outlets that promote talk about the alleged band are lying themselves, when they confirm that it is a secret assassination squad directly linked to the Saudi crown prince.
Also, this talk raises the question that if it is classified, then how has all the information about it been known?! And if the source of information about it is American intelligence reports, then it is no secret to anyone how many errors, conclusions and incorrect assessments that it bears and that these reports previously carried, and caused Disastrous results, most notably the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which was based on faulty intelligence reports.
If we put aside the alleged name “Tiger Squad” and search for “Rapid Intervention Forces” in the Kingdom, we would find that the same name is carried by more than one division in more than one security and military sector, and it is not secret, on the contrary. Rather, the tasks of some of them are of a humanitarian nature, and they all share In carrying out tasks that any Saudi can be proud of, and the Saudi media circulate their news and publish pictures of their teams.
The most prominent of these teams is the “Rapid Intervention” of the Saudi Ministry of Interior. These forces have their main mission to protect pilgrims. The idea of having a commando of the holy sites began in 2012, to secure the roads around Makkah, as well as at the land ports in the Kingdom.
In September 2014, the Saudi website “Sabq” published a report on these forces, under the title “In Pictures … Rapid Intervention Units start their work on the“ Hajj ”roads.
The report published photos of those forces, which it said were affiliated with the Special Forces for Road Security.
He indicated that it includes “an elite group of specially trained officers and individuals equipped with specific weapons and means of security control who are deployed on road joints to serve the pilgrims of the Holy House of God, visitors to the Prophet’s Noble Mosque, and road users.”
These forces contributed to raising the level of security, safety, and traffic control on the roads and spreading a spirit of reassurance to travelers and pilgrims. They also provided humanitarian services to road users, and carried out their duty to cover traffic accidents to secure the safety of vehicles and facilitate their traffic movement.
In September 2016, the Saudi newspaper “Okaz” also published a report on those forces, and confirmed that the “Rapid Intervention Force” is one of the formations of the “Special Road Security” force, which is assigned many tasks and plays major roles in maintaining security on all roads. It is located between Medina and Makkah Al-Mukarramah, and it is located in the security control centers to arrest violators and assist road users. ”
It indicated that it “is making great and determined efforts to serve the guests of Allah and direct them to Makkah Al-Mukarramah and to ensure that the procedures are regular and sound and prevent the entry of irregular pilgrims, citizens and residents, to Makkah Al-Mukarramah.”
The work of the Rapid Intervention Unit, with the Special Roads Security Force, began in 1433 AH / 2012AD, and it was armed and equipped with the latest and best weapons in order to facilitate the performance of their tasks entrusted to them in the face of any unusual circumstances at the outlets of the holy sites.
The commandos stand with keen eyes, watching the passers-by and providing them with security and safety, and their hands are holding the trigger to know the meaning of protecting the most valuable guests and the most honorable of Bekaa, and they send a clear message to everyone who has a disease in his heart that the pilgrims are in safe hands.
That force also received extensive training on how to disarm the enemy and shoot with both hands in speed and skill in aiming, taking advantage of the capabilities they have and the latest machine guns in the world.
In July 2017, Okaz also published a report highlighting the force’s work, under the title: “Rapid intervention forces at the entrances to Mecca … and security centers to hunt down regime violators.”
There are also forces bearing the name of Rapid Intervention Forces in the military sectors. On March 12, 2015, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) published news about the arrival of Prince Muhammad bin Salman, Arar, on an inspection visit to the military forces in the northern region.
The news indicated that Prince Mohammed bin Salman “inspected the equipment of the Duty Force 35 and 36, as well as the infantry weapons, tanks, artillery and rapid intervention force they contained.”
On February 09, 2016 AD, “SPA” also published a news about Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz’s visit to the Jizan sector, in the south of the Kingdom.
And it indicated in the news that Prince Muhammad bin Salman visited the rapid intervention forces of the Jazan force and was briefed on the advanced mechanisms and advanced training it possesses.
Prince Muhammad bin Salman expressed his pride in the accuracy of the executed operations and the speed in responding to emergency situations and the high combat readiness of the armed forces in the Jizan sector, stressing that what the sons of the armed forces are doing is the pride of the leadership and the Saudi people.
“The mangy sword”
So the so-called “Tiger Force” does not exist among the sectors of the Ministry of the Interior or the military sector alleged by the United States .. Is there a presence of it among the royal guards?
Returning to a report published in the Saudi newspaper “Sabq”, January 2018, there is an “impressive” military force named “Al-Saif Al-Ajrab”, but it is also clear in its tasks and the reports did not mention its carrying out missions outside the kingdom’s borders.
The name of the “Al-Saif Al-Ajrab” battalion was linked to the arrest of 11 Saudi princes on January 6, 2018, after they gathered in the Palace of Government, demanding the cancellation of the royal order that stipulated stopping the payment of electricity and water to the princes, and a rewarding material compensation for the ruling of Qisas that Issued against one of their cousins, according to an earlier report as well.
At the time, the Saudi newspaper presented a definition of the “Ajrab Sword” force as being one of the Royal Guard brigades, and it was created immediately after the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz took office.
The newspaper published photos and videos of the force, whatever it is not classified.
The number of members of the “mangy sword” force exceeds 5,000 soldiers of various military ranks, and all its employees carry advanced military courses, including frog courses, thunderbolts, parachutes, riot control, snipers and explosives.
The name of the battalion goes back to the name of Saif, founder of the second Saudi state, Imam Turki bin Abdullah bin Muhammad Al Saud, whose sword is called “al-Ajrab”.
So, the “Saif al-Ajrab” force of the Royal Guard, when it was used, was used against princes who violated the regulations, in a message from the Saudi leadership that everyone is equal before the Sharia, and whoever does not implement the regulations and instructions will be held accountable, whoever he is.
So where is the “tiger force” that the US Treasury Department statement talked about ?!
Perhaps the answer is in Colin Powell, the former US secretary of state, who held his high position in the administration of former US President George W. Bush between 2001 and 2005.
Although he is a man with great military experience and led his country’s diplomacy during the years of the American war on Iraq, he was a victim of his country’s erroneous intelligence reports.
Relying on US intelligence reports, Powell led his country’s campaign at the United Nations to wage a preemptive war against the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a war that he himself was one of the staunchest opponents of, but modified his stance as a result of intelligence information.
Some analysts believe that “Colin Powell,” who was one of those who objected to the idea of war within the American administration, was being deceived by the American intelligence services by providing him with misleading information.
Powell accused some CIA personnel of knowing that the sources of the information were not reliable. “There were people in the intelligence at the time who knew that some of the sources of information were not reliable, but they said nothing. It destroyed me,” Powell says.
This misleading information was related to Iraq’s nuclear program, as it was first reviewed in a UN session, allegedly used by Iraq as mobile nuclear sites.
There is no precedent, then, for the US intelligence to fabricate facts based on unreliable information in order to achieve its goals on the world map, and it seems that the Tiger Force or the Rapid Intervention Forces are the last of those lies.