2003 News Story

Prince Nayef comments on terrorism in 'Al-Youm'

Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, in an interview published today in the Arabic daily 'Al-Youm', stressed that the objective of those involved in the recent incident in the Khalidiya district of the city of Makkah was terrorism and sabotage. The presence of terrorists in Makkah and Madinah, he said, indicates that they have no respect for the holy places and that they are using Islam as a front for their criminal acts.

As for non-Saudis involved, Prince Nayef rejected the idea that legal residency in the Kingdom be reconsidered, and denied there would be any change in how foreigners are treated, saying: "A terrorist act is restricted only to the person who committed it." Commenting on the three detained imams who had issued so-called fatwa approving the acts of suicide bombers, he declared they are neither scholars nor shaikhs, but criminals who have encouraged and instigated terrorism, and who will receive punishment in accordance with the Law.

Meanwhile, Prince Nayef received in Jeddah today relatives of Saudis detained in Guantanamo, and assured them of the efforts of the Saudi authorities to have them extradited. Five who have already been extradited are now in custody in the Kingdom.