2003 News Story
 

05/15/2003
Prince Bandar bin Sultan Ambassador to the United States interviewed on ABC-TV 'Good Morning America'

CHARLIE GIBSON: Well, if you were with us just a few moments ago, you know that Brian Ross was here reporting on specific warnings of an attack ignored by Saudi authorities. So, we're going to turn now to the Saudi Ambassador, Prince Bandar, who spoke to Senior National Correspondent Claire Shipman. She wanted a response to those serious charges that Saudi Arabia ignored the American ambassador's requests for extra security. [BEGIN VIDEOTAPED INTERVIEW].

PRINCE BANDAR BIN SULTAN: He did - absolutely - request enforcing security at that compound with the air force people in it, and we did what was needed.


CLAIRE SHIPMAN: Your point - that our ambassador, Robert Jordan, is just unaware of the additional security measures that were put into place?

PRINCE BANDAR: All I'm saying is yes, our security agencies, particularly in the air force, came to the conclusion they had adequate measures there.

MS. SHIPMAN: The U.S. ambassador is described as quite angry at this point, and he insists that the security measures he asked for did not take place.

PRINCE BANDAR: There is no one hundred percent security when a determined, crazy, evil person is determined to die. But what we can do, however, is pursue them vigorously, and when we get them, we bring them to justice, try them, and punish them swiftly and harshly. This is not going to be an O.J. Simpson kind of trial.

MS. SHIPMAN: That shoot-out in Riyadh last week where a large cache of weapons was found, but the bulk of the terrorists got away - a lot of people think those may be the same people who conducted this latest atrocity. Is there a sense that you could literally just use some law enforcement help from the United States? 

PRINCE BANDAR: We didn't strike it -- strike gold in the first time, yes. We're guilty of not being perfect, but nobody can question the fact that we've been after those people with a vengeance. And assistance, yes, when we need it, we ask for it, and our friends have always responded to us. And there is much more cooperation than meets the eye, Claire.

MS. SHIPMAN: In the Khobar Towers bombing case, U.S. law enforcement was fairly frustrated that they did not get access to any of these suspects. And I certainly think an assurance from you right now would go a long way toward reassuring Americans that our law enforcement will have access to terrorism suspects in your country.

PRINCE BANDAR:  His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Prince Abdullah, has given instructions to all levels of our government and agencies to pursue vigorously these criminals and bring them to justice, and to work with our allies and friends around the world, particularly the United States.

MS. SHIPMAN: I wonder if you have a personal message for any of the families killed in the attacks?

PRINCE BANDAR: The people who did it are evil. There is nothing you can do to alleviate the pain of people who lost loved ones except, I tell you, it breaks my heart, it really does, and I feel for them.

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