Al-Qaeda Slams Saudi Crown Prince Over Naked Wrestlers, Cinemas

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The terrorist group, while critical of the crown prince, has, rather, ironically flourished under his leadership.

Mohammed bin Salman

As part of a long-term plan to wean Saudi Arabia off oil money, the country's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (aka MBS) has introduced a raft of economic and social changes over the past two years.

Many have lauded the young leader's progressive reforms, especially the lifting of the driving ban on women and re-opening of cinemas. Some have even branded him a "revolutionary."

However, while the ultraconservative Islamic kingdom's transformation has drawn praise, it has also drawn the ire of certain elements.

The terror group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) slammed MBS, referring to his reforms as "sinful projects."

"The new era of Bin Salman replaced mosques with movie theaters," the Yemen-based terror group stated in a recent bulletin picked up by the SITE Intelligence Group, which track online activity of white supremacist and jihadist groups.

The statement also accused the crown prince of substituting "books that belonged to the imams... with absurdities of the atheists and secularists from the east and the west and opened the door wide for corruption and moral degradation."

In particular, the terror group criticized Saudi Arabia's decision to bring WWE Royal Rumble to Jeddah in April.

"(Foreign) disbelieving wrestlers exposed their privates and on most of them was the sign of the cross, in front of a mixed gathering of young Muslim men and women," it said.

"The corruptors did not stop at that, for every night musical concerts are being announced, as well as movies and circus shows," SITE quoted AQAP as saying.

The terrorist group, while critical of the crown prince, has ironically flourished under his leadership.

MBS is the chief architect of the ongoing invasion in Yemen against Shiite Houthi rebels. The conflict has left nearly 10,000 people dead, tens of thousands wounded, and millions on the verge of famine. One of the unintended consequences has been the strengthening of the Sunni AQAP fighters in the region.

Taking advantage of the unrest between the government, Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition, the AQAP got richer after robbing banks in Mukalla, Yemen's third-largest port city, for the most part of the first year of the war. Although, Yemeni and Saudi-led coalition forces recaptured most of the city in April 2016, the group is far from being defeated.

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

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