Al-Qaeda has vowed revenge on Saudi Arabia for the execution of dozens of jihadists, an act which the mujahideen condemned as a "foolish." The executions in question took place on Jan. 2 when Saudi Arabia executed 47 prisoners, most of them al-Qaeda detainees who were convicted of gun attacks and bombings against foreigners and securities a decade ago, according to CBS News.
In a statement, dated Jan. 10, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said Riyadh had executed the militants despite knowing that the "mujahideen have pledged to avenge the pure blood of their brothers."
"But they (Riyadh) insisted on offering the blood of the good Mujahideen as a sacrifice for the Crusaders on their holiday, in the New Year," the two groups said in the statement posted on social media, according to Reuters. "Let them wait for the day when God will heal the chests of the families of the martyrs, their brothers and those who love them from the arrogant infidel."
Though the executions were meant to send a message to militant Sunnis. It was the executions of Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shi'ite cleric and three other Shi'ite Muslims, which had the biggest impact. Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia-dominated Iran are in the midst of a diplomatic crisis as a result of the executions, according to AFP.
Iran and al-Qaeda aren't the only two sources of frustration Saudi Arabia has to deal with following the mass executions. Shi'ite leaders across the region have condemned the executions and the kingdom is now waiting for the possibility of an ISIS attack which they had promised would occur should the militants be executed.
Saudi Arabia has since defended the mass executions saying they were a legitimate part of its fight against terror.