2003 Press Release

Statement by Adel Al-Jubeir, foreign affairs advisor to the crown prince at press conference, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia

[Washington, DC] -- One month ago today, Al-Qaeda terrorists struck Riyadh homes, killing and injuring Saudis, Americans, Jordanians, Lebanese and people of other nationalities – innocent people who were living together in peace.  But the real target of the bombings was the U.S./Saudi relationship.  Bin Laden thought that this attack would tear apart the relationship and start what he has wanted from the very beginning – an open conflict between the United States and the Middle East.  But he miscalculated.

May 12 was a turning point for Saudi Arabia.  The repercussions of the bombings have galvanized our people in the war against terrorism, and have mobilized public opinion against extremism.

Al-Qaeda wants to drive Saudi Arabia back to the dark ages.  We have chosen progress and modernity.  And we are now fighting to protect our future.

In just 30 days, the Al-Qaeda organization that perpetrated the May 12 bombings has suffered major setbacks in Saudi Arabia.  Recent anti-terrorism actions, in cooperation with U.S. authorities, have rounded up and questioned scores of suspects and arrested more than 25 individuals in connection with the Riyadh bombings.

We are also targeting those who encourage extremism and incite others to hate.

We are arresting and detaining those who constitute a potential terrorist threat:

Saudi Arabia has closed the door on terrorist financing and money laundering:

We are working on improving our educational system to provide our young people with a world-class education.

We are building our long-term counter-terrorism capabilities:

Al-Qaeda will find it increasingly difficult to find safe harbor inside Saudi Arabia.  Every day, our television news and newspapers are broadcasting information about the investigation, posting pictures of the most wanted criminals and calling on the population to support this fight.  Our religious leaders and government officials continue to condemn the terrorists and the terrorist acts in the strongest terms possible.  This is no longer simply a matter of government law enforcement.  Our people are angry, they want retribution, they want action, they want peace and security – and they will get it.

We admit that our country has a long way to go.  But we have also come a long way.  Last month, we received a massive jolt.  Our people, our government and our religious establishment will not cave in to those that would do us harm.  And we will not turn back the clock on the progress we have made