Author Topic: Ex-Saudi ambassador: Kingdom could have helped U.S. prevent 9/11  (Read 1053 times)

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Offline GAP

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Ex-Saudi ambassador: Kingdom could have helped U.S. prevent 9/11
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(CNN) -- Saudi Arabia could have helped the United States prevent al Qaeda's 2001 attacks on New York and Washington if American officials had consulted Saudi authorities in a "credible" way, the kingdom's former ambassador said in a documentary aired Thursday.

The comments by Prince Bandar bin Sultan are similar to the remarks this week by Saudi King Abdullah that suggested Britain could have prevented the July 2005 train bombings in London if it had heeded warnings from Riyadh.

Speaking to the Arabic satellite network Al-Arabiya on Thursday, Bandar -- now Abdullah's national security adviser -- said Saudi intelligence was "actively following" most of the September 11, 2001, plotters "with precision."

"If U.S. security authorities had engaged their Saudi counterparts in a serious and credible manner, in my opinion, we would have avoided what happened," he said.  Watch Bandar's comments »

Bandar was the Saudi ambassador to Washington for nearly 22 years before he was replaced in 2005. A knowledgeable U.S. official told CNN that Bandar's comments should be taken "with a grain of salt."

On Monday, Abdullah told the BBC that Saudi Arabia had sent warnings to British authorities before the London subway bombings that killed 52 people -- the city's bloodiest day since World War II.

"We have sent information to Great Britain before the terrorist attacks in Britain," Abdullah said. "But unfortunately, no action was taken, and it may have been able to avert the tragedy."
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Offline Greymatters

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Re: Ex-Saudi ambassador: Kingdom could have helped U.S. prevent 9/11
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 11:54:06 »
The question to ask here is not 'why didnt western forces react' but rather 'why does Saudi intelligence lack credibility'?

This looks like it would go well with the thread on Saudi extremism currently running.


Offline GAP

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Re: Ex-Saudi ambassador: Kingdom could have helped U.S. prevent 9/11
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 12:00:19 »
Yeah, it belongs there....
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Ex-Saudi ambassador: Kingdom could have helped U.S. prevent 9/11
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2007, 09:46:52 »
Pots and kettles:

Saudi Arabia is hub of world terror
The desert kingdom supplies the cash and the killers

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article2801017.ece
Quote
...
King Abdullah was surprised during his two-day state visit to Britain last week by the barrage of criticism directed at the Saudi kingdom. Officials were in “considerable shock”, one former British diplomat said.

Back home the king is regarded as a modest reformer who has cracked down on home-grown terrorism and loosened a few relatively minor restrictions on his subjects’ personal freedom.

With oil prices surging, Saudi Arabia is growing in prosperity and embracing some modern trappings. Bibles and crucifixes are still banned, but internet access is spreading and there are plans for “Mile High Tower”, the world’s tallest skyscraper, in Jeddah. As a key ally of the West, the king had every reason to expect a warm welcome.

Yet wealthy Saudis remain the chief financiers of worldwide terror networks. “If I could somehow snap my fingers and cut off the funding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia,” said Stuart Levey, the US Treasury official in charge of tracking terror financing.

Extremist clerics provide a stream of recruits to some of the world’s nastiest trouble spots.

An analysis by NBC News suggested that the Saudis make up 55% of foreign fighters in Iraq. They are also among the most uncompromising and militant.

Half the foreign fighters held by the US at Camp Cropper near Baghdad are Saudis. They are kept in yellow jumpsuits in a separate, windowless compound after they attempted to impose sharia on the other detainees and preached an extreme form of Wahhabist Islam.

In recent months, Saudi religious scholars have caused consternation in Iraq and Iran by issuing fatwas calling for the destruction of the great Shi’ite shrines in Najaf and Karbala in Iraq, some of which have already been bombed. And while prominent members of the ruling al-Saud dynasty regularly express their abhorrence of terrorism, leading figures within the kingdom who advocate extremism are tolerated.

Sheikh Saleh al-Luhaidan, the chief justice, who oversees terrorist trials, was recorded on tape in a mosque in 2004, encouraging young men to fight in Iraq. “Entering Iraq has become risky now,” he cautioned. “It requires avoiding those evil satellites and those drone aircraft, which own every corner of the skies over Iraq. If someone knows that he is capable of entering Iraq in order to join the fight, and if his intention is to raise up the word of God, then he is free to do so.”..

Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.