Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh said that suicide bombers are "criminals" who will go to "hell".
"Suicide bombings are great crimes" and bombers are "criminals who rush themselves to hell by their actions," Sheikh said during a lecture in Riyadh a few days ago.
Sheikh described suicide bombers as "robbed of their minds... who have been used (as tools) to destroy themselves and societies."
In recent months, Saudi authorities have cracked down on al-Qaeda terrorists in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which was formed from a merger of the jihadist network's Saudi and Yemeni operations.
In the latest case, Saudi terrorists attacked a Yemen defence ministry complex on 5 December that left 56 people dead.
A few days ago, a Saudi court sentenced an Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist to 16 years for plotting to kill Sheikh and other clerics.
Sheikh had already slammed terrorism in 2010 as un-Islamic and condemned the killing of civilians, saying that such attacks had nothing to do with the Muslim religion.
For years, Saudi authorities have tried to distance themselves from armed religious extremism, often been inspired by Wahhabism, a version of Islam that has shaped all of the country's institutions and social life since the early 1900s.
As many as 15 of the 19 perpetrators of the attack on the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001 were Saudi nationals.