Saudi Arabia deems Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah terrorist groups

Kingdom also blacklists two other groups, urges Saudi fighters in Syria to come home.

By Jack Khoury and News Agencies | Mar. 7, 2014 | 4:22 PM

Hezbollah fighters. Photo by AP

Saudi Arabia on Friday declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

The kingdom also included Lebanon-based Shi'ite group Hezbollah on its terrorism list along with the Syria-based Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Nusra Front, an Al Qaida branch operating in Syria and Lebanon that was created in 2012.

According to the report, hundreds of Saudi fighters are believed to be members of ISIS and the Nusra Front in Syria.

Saudi authorities are urging those fighters to return home and have given them 15 days to do so.

Saudi Arabia's cabinet earlier this week called for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters from Syria and demanded they face international justice if they committed war crimes there.

Riyadh is concerned that Saudi militants in Syria could turn their weapons on the kingdom.

Information and Culture Minister Abdelaziz Khoja said in a statement Monday on behalf of the cabinet that the kingdom "renews its firm position condemning terrorism in all its forms."

Last month, Saudi King Abdullah decreed it a crime for Saudi nationals to fight in foreign conflicts. The move was largely aimed at curbing extremist Saudis fighting alongside Syrian rebels.

Volunteers from across the Sunni Muslim world have joined Syrian rebel groups, in particular an Al-Qaida breakaway faction.

Lebanese and Iraqi Shi'ites, meanwhile, are fighting on the government side.