Monday, June 8, 2009

Simon Cumbers Anniversary

Last Saturday marked the fifth anniversary of the murder of Irish photo journalist Simon Cumbers (pictured) who was brutally gunned down by Al Quaeda while filming for the BBC in Riyadh. His British colleague Frank Gardner thankfully survived despite being shot six times. He is currently back working for the BBC as their security corespondent. All credit to him for not letting his injuries which have left him wheelchair bound end his career. I read Frank Gardner's fine book Blood and Sand which gives a chilling account of the killing. When the van with the gunmen pulled up to the two men the security personnel provided for Cumbers and Gardner immediately bolted. Simon and Frank then both ran in different directions. The exact moment of Simon's murder is not known exactly but because his body was found some distance from where Frank was shot it was thought he initially evaded his killers only to be cornered in a dead end street after unsuccessfully trying to get help from the locals. He was then murdered in cold blood. Simon Cumbers was a quiet unassuming family man who deserved better that to be hunted like an animal through the back alleys of Riyadh. According to the Saudi authorities all the gunmen involved in the shooting have been subsequently killed in various shootouts with the Saudi police. This incident is a powerful illustration of the Xenophobic and murderous nature of the Wahhabi sect of Islam practised by Al Quaeda and others in Saudi Arabia.


GW said...

Yes, it is, and I would imagine you are one of the few that knows enough to identify the Wahhabi / Salafi sect as the real driver of Islamic terrorism. Probably the greatest failing our our respective governments in this war on terror has been their failure to shine a light on Wahhabism. One of the greatest strengths of the West is public opinion. I think that if public opinion was properly schooled in Wahhabism, the weight of public opinion / public outcry would light the flames of change in this most violent of sects.

Ted Leddy said...


Thank you for your comment. Some people are just embarrassed to call it like it is. For some reason that I can't figure out many people appear to be ashamed at being from a free country and insist on lessening the brutality of militant Islam out of some strange desire to equate western democratic systems with eastern Islamic ones. If you try to discuss this with someone in Ireland they will probably respond with something like "sure the Catholic church was just as bad in their day". I have been highly critical of The Catholic Church's role in Irish society in recent times, see my recent post, but I am smart enough to know that the failings of the Catholic Church are not in the same league as those of the Wahhabi/ salafi sect of Sunni Islam. But as you say, the debate on this is of very poor quality and if people were told the truth openly and honestly then perhaps decent people would be encouraged to describe Wahhabism the way it deserves to be described.

Anonymous said...

"Probably the greatest failing our our respective governments in this war on terror has..."

"War of terror" not "war on terror".

Every time that phrase is thrown around I think of the carbon footprint it leaves.

When a dog urinates on your floor you rub his nose in it.

How do I rub GW's nose in his mistake?
Maybe I should start a nuclear weapons program. That might get some attention.