Man arrested after trying to access pulpit during Friday sermon at Grand Mosque Makkah

Saudi Arabia: The Haram Security Forces arrested a man who tried to reach the pulpit from where the imam was delivering his Friday sermon at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the spokesman of Makkah region police announced.

The man, dressed in an ihram and brandishing a stick, was apprehended immediately and legal procedures against him have been taken.

Police investigating the incident later revealed that the attacker claimed to be the “awaiting Mahdi (Messiah).”

Preliminary investigations by police revealed that the perpetrator was a 40-year-old Saudi national, according to the newspaper Al-Watan.

Throughout history, a number of people have claimed to be “Islam’s redeemer” in dangerous incidents.
The most high-profile event occurred in 1979, when Juhayman Al-Otaibi and his brother-in-law Mohammed Al-Qahtani, who claimed to be the Mahdi, took hundreds of pilgrims hostage at the Grand Mosque, causing a week-long siege.

A full-scale assault was launched to break the siege, resulting in the death of the so-called Messiah and hundreds of his followers. The leader of the pack, Juhayman, was arrested and later executed for his crimes.

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