2001 News Story

Saudi leadership praises security forces for ending hijacking

In a message today to Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz praised the role played by the personnel of the Kingdom's special security forces in bringing to a successful end the ordeal of the hijacked Russian plane, expressing his pride in the brave actions of these men. Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz also expressed pride in the actions of the security forces, noting that the nation does not tolerate humiliation or cowardice, and announcing that the men involved will be awarded medals in recognition of their role. Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz also expressed appreciation of the role played by the personnel of the special security forces, saying the men deserve suitable medals and awards.

Meanwhile, at a press conference yesterday, Prince Nayef reiterated the Kingdom's opposition to all forms of terrorism, and to the hijacking of planes in particular, saying Saudi Arabia will never tolerate such terrorist acts, and that those who commit them will be tried according to the regulations of Shari'ah [Islamic Law]. He noted that all international conventions oppose terrorism, and that Arab countries have signed an anti-terrorist agreement. He added that Saudi Arabia was saddened that the hijackers were from among our brothers, the Chechen people, and stressed the Kingdom's continued sympathy for Chechnya, saying: "I am personally involved in the committee extending aid to Chechnya, but that does not mean that we tolerate terrorism."