Terror sympathizers will lose scholarships, warns envoy

This file image posted on a website of the Al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State (IS) on June 14, 2014, shows the group's jihadists executing captured Iraqi soldiers in Tikrit, Iraq. Saudi youths have been warned against gravitating toward terror groups like the IS, which had been condemned even by other Islamist groups as too extreme.

This file image posted on a website of the Al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State (IS) on June 14, 2014, shows the group’s jihadists executing captured Iraqi soldiers in Tikrit, Iraq. Saudi youths have been warned against gravitating toward terror groups like the IS, which had been condemned even by other Islamist groups as too extreme.

Saudi scholarship students found guilty of sympathizing or liaising with terror groups will be sent back to the Kingdom and their scholarships canceled, said sources at the Ministry of Higher Education.

The statement follows the interception of several terror-related calls targeting Saudi students abroad.
Awareness campaigns are under way among youth studying abroad as part of efforts to wean them away from misleading ideology, said various Saudi ambassadors.

This type of ideology has transcended geographical boundaries, potentially targeting more than 150,000 students on scholarship abroad in more than 30 countries, they said.

The ministry had previously warned that the scholarships of students who travel to conflict zones would be canceled.

The ministry also obliged students wishing to study abroad to sign pledges stating that they would not travel to countries where war prevails.

These pledges were reinforced in line with a royal decree issued in February promising severe penal action against Saudi nationals who are found guilty of participating in foreign conflicts.

A source from the ministry confirmed the existence of terrorists who try and convince students to leave their studies and join their groups.

Saudi cultural attachés in numerous countries have also urged students not to respond to such calls.
Sami Al-Saleh, Saudi ambassador in Jordan, said his embassy was closely liaising with the 4,200 Saudi students in Jordan, warning them against sympathizing with terrorist groups.

Abdulaziz Al-Fayiz, Saudi ambassador to Kuwait, said that there have been no scholarship cancelations in the neighboring Gulf country so far.

The Saudi ambassador in Bahrain concurred with the Jordanian and Kuwaiti ambassadors.

 
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