2003 Public Statement

SAIO director Nail Al-Jubeir discusses new Saudi-U.S. security task force on Fox news with Gregg Jarrett

Asked why the task force was created now, Saudi spokesman Nail Al-Jubeir replied: "Now is when it became public. The fact is we have been cooperating; the task force has been working on before. What will happen now is they’re going to be stationed in Saudi Arabia, and that was done at our initiative because we want real information, real time to go between the forces."

Al-Jubeir denied that Saudi Arabia only allowed the task force after the May 12 bombings in Riyadh. "We’ve done it before, right after 9/11. There was an investigation into financing. We’ve frozen the assets of people suspected of funding terrorism", he told Jarrett.

Jarrett wondered how people can be sure the Saudi government won’t mislead or misdirect away from its own activities and point in the direction of some scapegoats. “Simple,” Al-Jubeir replied. “U.S. law enforcement is going to be there, the people from the IRS are going to be there, the FBI is going to be there. They’re smart enough to know if they’re being misdirected or not. Let’s wait and see how that task force comes out and what will happen."

Al-Jubeir added: "It’s easy to criticize Saudi Arabia. We’ve heard the criticism coming up every time we do a step. The cynics come up and they point at different issues."

Al-Jubeir also noted that the Saudi government has taken steps to curb imams who are preaching violence from their mosques. “If we know where they are, yes, we’re going after them", he said of the imams. "We will not tolerate preaching of violence and hatred in Saudi Arabia. Last week our highest religious authority condemned those and even called for the punishment of those who promote violence."