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Saudi journalist on Saudi terror list

The latest addition to a list of terrorist suspects published by the Saudi Interior Ministry, includes a surprising addition according to the English language Arabic daily, Asharq Al-Awsat. Obaida Abdul-Rahman Al Otaibi, a journalist with a degree in journalism from the Imam Mohamed Bin Saud University, is the 50th name on the list of 85 terror suspects. A former colleague describes him,

"In terms of professionalism and news-reporting he was an ordinary journalist, but he had good writing ability. He was also one of the first journalists to add his email address to his articles at a time when the Saudi Arabians were new to the internet..." [said Al Qasim, a senior journalist with the Saudi Al-Jazirah newspaper]... [He] was focused on social and local topics, and neither he nor his writing had anything to do with extremist ideology. There were also no black marks with regards to his personal discipline at work." link

The Saudi Ministry of the Interior says Al-Otaibi went to the UAE in 2005 and his current whereabouts are unknown. Al-Otaibi is alleged to have ties with Eisa Al-Awsham, a former Al Qaeda commander in Saudi Arabia who was killed in 2004. Al Qasim says the two were classmates at the Al Shifa Religious Academy during their school years. All those appearing on the list and encouraged to give themselves up to the authorities.