Saudis arrest hardline cleric al-Ahmed


Hardline Saudi cleric Sheikh Youssef bin Abdallah al-Ahmed, known for his controversial views on Saudi society, was arrested on Friday, Saudi activists told Reuters on Saturday. Interior Ministry officials were not immediately available to comment. “The sheikh was arrested on Friday and is now being questioned by the authorities, the reason might be because he has called for the release of political prisoners,” said a Saudi-based activist.
The world’s biggest oil exporter is counting on government handouts of an estimated $130 billion, nearly 30 percent of its annual economic output, to lessen grievances among its growing, and increasingly young, population that could lead to a challenge to the conservative status quo.