The “Terrorist Financing” report issued today is an opinion formulated by an independent task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. This opinion is based on false and inconclusive information.
According to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Kingdom’s Ambassador to the United States: “Government officials who are privy to current law enforcement efforts know and appreciate the close cooperation the United States and Saudi Arabia have in the war on terrorism. The Task Force is clearly out of touch with current activities.”
The Kingdom has implemented new laws and regulations to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, such as:
Freezing dozens of bank accounts suspected of links to terrorists;
Supporting UN resolutions related to the fight against terrorism and implementing the 2001 UN Security Council Resolution 1368 related to the financing of terrorist activities;
Working with the United States and other nations to block more than $70 million in suspect terrorist assets located in accounts throughout the world;
Auditing all charitable groups to ensure that there are no links to suspect organizations;
Putting in place new guidelines and regulations, including financial control mechanisms, to ensure that terrorist organizations cannot take advantage of legitimate charitable groups;
Requiring that charitable activities that extend beyond Saudi Arabia be reported to the Foreign Ministry.
Even before September 11, Saudi Arabia was more aggressive than most countries in the implementation of monitoring systems and controls over charitable funds.
“It is unfortunate that the Task Force prepared their report without input from the United States or Saudi governments,” said Prince Bandar. “The Task Force was either unaware of or chose not to recognize the many actions we have taken.”