2005 News Story

Prince Turki Al-Faisal in TV commentary on war on terror

  Prince Turki Al-Faisal, nominated Ambassador to the United States

Prince Turki Al-Faisal, currently Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Ambassador Designate to the United States, made pointed comments on the war on terror to Simon Marks on the Fox News ‘Brit Hume’ show yesterday. This month’s attacks in the British capital, he said, should provide the impetus for tougher U.K. counter-terrorism laws, declaring: “Saudi Arabia has suffered from activities by people in Britain who have incited a rebellion and terrorism in the Kingdom, coming out of Britain. If Britain is going to change its regulations and its laws so that such incitement will no longer be allowed, that would be a welcomed development.”

Prince Turki is one of few men who can claim to have met Osama bin Laden. He did so five times in the 1980s, when the future Al-Qaeda leader was a volunteer fighter in Afghanistan. In describing bin Laden, Prince Turki said:  “He was a very plain person, very self-effacing, very shy. He hardly talked at all. And so he’s become something that I absolutely cannot imagine him becoming. He must be brought to heel, either by capture or by elimination.”

Denying that Saudi Arabia has been dragging its feet in the crackdown on terror, Prince Turki rejected claims that Saudi funds are bankrolling religious schools that in some cases teach lessons of hate, and declared: “Any specifics, a bank account, the name of an individual or the name of a madrassa, please give it to us, and we’ll happily work with U.S. officials on stopping that transfer of money to that madrassa.”