2003 Press Release

Saudi Ambassador responds to reports of Saudi Involvement in 9-11
[Washington, DC] -- Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Ambassador to the United States, issued the following statement today in response to recent reports of Saudi involvement in 9-11:

“It is unfortunate that false accusations against Saudi Arabia continue to be made by some for political purposes despite the fact that the Kingdom has been one of the most active partners in the War on Terrorism, as the President and other Administration officials have repeatedly and publicly attested.

“Since September 11, Saudi Arabia has questioned over 1,000 individuals, arrested more than 500 suspects and succeeded in extraditing Al-Qaeda members from other countries to face justice.  The Kingdom has audited its charities and enacted strict financial control measures to ensure that evildoers cannot take advantage of the generosity of our citizens.  Bank accounts of suspected individuals have been frozen and some of the most stringent banking regulations implemented.  Saudi Arabia today has one of the toughest counter-terrorism laws and regulations in the world.

“Cooperation between our two countries in fighting terrorism is excellent in all areas and has never been greater.

“It is disappointing that despite everything we are doing, outrageous charges continue.  They are not based in fact and only serve to denigrate Saudi Arabia, which is exactly what bin Laden wanted to accomplish.

“First we were criticized by “unnamed sources”; now, we are being criticized with blank pieces of paper.

“In a 900-page report, 28 blanked-out pages are being used by some to malign our country and our people.  Rumors, innuendos and untruths have become, when it comes to the Kingdom, the order of the day.

“The idea that the Saudi government funded, organized or even knew about September 11th is malicious and blatantly false.  There is something wrong with the basic logic of those who spread these spurious charges.  Al-Qaeda is a cult that is seeking to destroy Saudi Arabia as well as the United States.  By what logic would we support a cult that is trying to kill us?  Prior to 9-11, both our countries were on the trail of Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.  Our countries exchanged information about a number of suspects, including some of the 9-11 hijackers.  Why would we aid criminals when we were working with the U.S. to find and arrest them?

“It is my belief that the reason a classified section that allegedly deals with foreign governments is absent from the report is most likely because the information contained in it could not be substantiated.  Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide.  We can deal with questions in public, but we cannot respond to blank pages.”