2003 Press Release

Al-Bayoumi not a government agent
[Washington, DC] -- Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Ambassador to the United States, issued the following statement today with regards to continued reference to Omar Al-Bayoumi as a “Saudi Agent":

“Reports that Omar Al-Bayoumi is an agent of the Saudi Government are baseless and not true.  It is unfortunate that reports keep circulating in the media describing him as an agent of the Saudi government with attribution only to anonymous officials. This is blatantly false.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States both investigated and dismissed this matter after the September 11 attacks.  Al-Bayoumi was detained in London and questioned by U.S. and British law enforcement officials.  I doubt that the FBI would have let him go had he been in any way implicated in the events of 9-11.  He was also questioned upon his return to Saudi Arabia by Saudi law enforcement officials.  The investigations in this matter have concluded that he was not involved in the 9-11 attacks.

"The Saudi government has not received any new information implicating Mr. Al-Bayoumi, nor has it received any requests from any friendly government to further question him.

"Questions about Al-Bayoumi had been asked and answered.  Apparently, this is a case of someone simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Since 9-11, Saudi Arabia has questioned thousands of individuals, and detained over 500, of whom 150 have been arrested since the May 12 attacks in Riyadh.  Saudi Arabia has captured or killed the top three Al-Qaeda operatives in the Kingdom.  It has broken up Al-Qaeda cells.  It has intercepted attempts to smuggle weapons and explosives into Saudi Arabia by members of Al-Qaeda, it has unearthed caches of explosives and weapons and stifled numerous terrorist attacks against Saudi and other targets.  The Kingdom has extradited people from numerous countries in order to bring them to justice.  It has worked with and shared intelligence on Al-Qaeda with friendly governments, including the United States.  Saudi Arabia has tightened its financial system and worked with its charities to implement one of the toughest financial control mechanisms in the world in order to prevent evildoers from taking advantage of the generosity of Saudi citizens.  These are the actions of a state that is pursuing terrorists and evildoers with vigilance and without mercy.  They are not the actions of a state that in any way, shape or form condones terrorism, much less supports it.

"It is unfortunate that since the tragic events of 9-11 some people have tried to malign our country, our people and our faith by leveling baseless charges spreading rumors, innuendo and untruths.  American officials, including the President, have repeatedly and publicly attested to Saudi Arabian commitment to the War on Terrorism and to the positive role it has played in confronting evildoers.”