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Islamic militants, sympathizers celebrate death of Saudi King Abdullah on social media

  • File - In this Tuesday, May 11, 2010 file photo, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz, salutes as he arrives to the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) consultative summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. On early Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, Saudi state TV reported King Abdullah died at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

    File - In this Tuesday, May 11, 2010 file photo, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz, salutes as he arrives to the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) consultative summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. On early Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, Saudi state TV reported King Abdullah died at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 23, 2010 file photo, King Abdullah, center, of Saudi Arabia surround by Saudi top princes holds his sword as he takes part in the traditional Arda dance, or War dance, during the Janadriyah Festival of Heritage and Culture on the outskirts of Riyadh. On early Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, Saudi state TV reported King Abdullah died at the age of 90.  (AP Photo, File)

    FILE - In this March 23, 2010 file photo, King Abdullah, center, of Saudi Arabia surround by Saudi top princes holds his sword as he takes part in the traditional Arda dance, or War dance, during the Janadriyah Festival of Heritage and Culture on the outskirts of Riyadh. On early Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, Saudi state TV reported King Abdullah died at the age of 90. (AP Photo, File)  (The Associated Press)

Islamic militants and their supporters celebrated the death of Saudi King Abdullah on social media Friday, many of them describing him as a "servant" of the Americans who conspired with the West to kill Muslims.

Abdullah, who died at the age of 90, began battling al-Qaida militants around a decade ago when extremists launched a string of attacks in the kingdom aimed at toppling the monarchy. Backed by the kingdom's top ally, the United States, Saudi officials responded with a massive crackdown and has imprisoned suspected militants and sentenced others to death.

"The thief of the two holy mosques has died," wrote a militant supporter on Twitter. "He lived and died as a servant to America," posted another.

Many Islamic extremists consider the Saudi royal family to be corrupt and unfit to rule. The Islamic State group, an al-Qaida breakaway group that currently holds a third of Iraq and Syria, often cites Islam's holiest city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, as one of its targets.

Saudi Arabia is also part of a U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group in airstrikes.

A jihadi supporter who goes by the name of Abu Azzam al-Najdi criticized the late king saying: "He sent his warplanes to kill Muslims in (Syria). He imprisoned Muslim men and women and wherever there was a war against jihadis, he was the first."

Loyalists of al-Qaida and the Islamic State group alike organized their comments under hashtags, some that translate from Arabic into "Death of a Tyrant."

Another jihadi supporter who goes by the name of Omar wrote in English: "The dog that was occupying (the land of the two holy shrines) has finally kicked the bucket, no Bush or Obama to save you from Allah."

One user posted a photo illustration of King Abdullah wearing an orange uniform as a masked man stood behind him carrying a knife to behead him.

"We don't want him to die. We want to slaughter him this way," the post said, referring to Saudi Arabia's tradition of beheading criminals.