2004 Press Release

Prince Bandar refutes 9-11 commissioner's allegation
Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin Sultan today issued the following statement:

Saudi Arabia strongly objects to the allegation made by former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman as reported in The San Bernardino Sun on Thursday, October 21, 2004, that Osama bin Laden receives money from high-ranking ministers inside Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is at war with bin Laden and his terror network and we are doing all we can, in cooperation with our allies, to kill or capture these terrorists and the people who support or condone their actions.  In addition, Saudi Arabia has in place strict laws and systems to combat terror financing and was praised for its efforts by both the U.S. government and international organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force of the G8.  To say that Saudi government officials are supporting bin Laden is ridiculous and has no basis in fact.

Mr. Lehman should recall the conclusions of the 9-11 Commission, on which he served, which stated in its final report: "…we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization [Al-Qaeda].”