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Archives: 9/01-6/02

In Saudi Arabia, Concern About Rocky Relations With U.S.  6/26/02 NNS: "News reports said religious police locked the girls inside and blocked male rescuers, because the girls were not properly covered. Human Rights Watch supported the accusations against the religious police. At least one Saudi newspaper investigated, though, and found that religious police did not interfere. An official report criticized dangerous overcrowding and inadequate safety measures, but it was silent on the role of the religious police. Still, the Saudi public was outraged -- and the monarchy soon took control of girls' education from the religious authorities. "This was the first time a major change like this occurred as a result of a public outcry expressed by the press," says Adel Al-Abdulkarim, a guest columnist at Riyadh's largest paper and an assistant professor at King Saud University. "This is significant."

Saudis arrest al-Qa'ida suspects 'planning attacks'  6/19/02 Independent, UK 

Saudi Arabia: Sniper in camouflage fires on Australian at BAE compound  6/18/02 Arab News 

FBI issues missile launcher warning in Saudi Arabia  5/31/02 Ummah News: "Remnants of a spent anti-aircraft missile have been found close to an airstrip in Saudi Arabia used by U.S. military aircraft patrolling the no fly zone over southern Iraq. The find has prompted the FBI to alert law enforcement across the United States about the find."

Kingdom yet to act on US products with pork gelatin  5/28/02 Arab News: "Supermarkets and groceries in Saudi Arabia are openly selling Kelloggs products, including cornflakes, which were removed from shop shelves in the UAE last week after it was discovered that the products of this American company contain pork gelatin."

Saudi officials silent as anti-U.S. boycott spreads  5/14/02 WorldTribune: direct from spookland: "Saudi activists said members of the royal family have pledged their support for the boycott in protest of Washington's support for Israel. The government in Riyad has not expressed an official position… "With each dollar you pay you kill a Palestinian," one Saudi message said in reference to Israel's use of U.S.-made weaponry in the war against the Palestinians."

Idea of Islamic dinar gaining momentum  5/13/02 Arab News: "The two-day seminar, scheduled to be held on June 25-26 in Kuala Lumpur under the patronage of the Institute of Islamic Thought, a Malaysian think tank, hopes to bring together a cornucopia of central bank officials, economists, bankers, businessmen, academics and other interested parties. Dr. Mahathir, who is also the country’s finance minister, first mooted the idea of an Islamic gold dinar as a standard unit of currency for trade and financial transactions between the 54 member countries of the Jeddah-based trans-national Islamic Development Bank (IDB), last year. This in the aftermath of the currency crisis that hit the Asian countries, including Malaysia, so badly in 1999 and in 2000."

ARAB BOYCOTT AGAINST AMERICAN GOODS CONTINUES GAINING MOMENTUM  5/13/02 Radio Havana: "An informal boycott of American goods has continued gaining momentum in the Arab world, leading to a drastic drop-off in business for fast-food outlets, Starbucks coffee shops and basic groceries from Pepsi to Pampers. The boycott is taking on dimensions unseen since the Arab League embargo on companies trading with Israel trailed off in the early 1990s, according to a report over the weekend in the New York Times."

Arabs vent their anger at Washington on US goods  5/11/02 Sydney Morning Herald 

Boycott US campaign affecting Saudi businesses  5/9/02 Ummah News: "A grassroots campaign to boycott US products in Saudi Arabia has already taken its toll on many local businesses, with sales dropping drastically, executives and activists said today. The campaign, a protest against perceived US support for Israel, is being conducted from mosques, schools and universities, and through newspapers, the Internet and mobile phone text messages urging consumers to shun products originating from the United States." The same mobile phone messages were the principal organizing tool in the Venezuela counter-coup.

Czech to provide Saudi Arabia with weapons  5/7/02 Arabic News 

Sunoco pumps Saudi-free gas East Coast retailer buys not a drop of country's crude  5/4/02 WorldNetDaily: PR gimmick lauded by this Christian fundamentalist media. The reality is that the US cannot do without Saudi oil.

Britain reports Saudis over arms plane  5/3/02 Guardian, UK 

Islamic charities prosper despite US terror talk  4/28/02 Times of India: "Rulers and citizens of the oil-rich region donated tens of millions of dollars worth of cash and goods to the Palestinians after Israel stepped up its military campaign against the Palestinians last month. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar held telethons to collection donations that yielded around $100 million in just a few hours."

Saudis threaten 'oil weapon' in talks to pressure Bush  4/26/02 Independent, UK: "Most alarming, if interviews and reports from the region are taken at face value, the Saudis have already more or less concluded that no amount of pressure from the Crown Prince, the de facto ruler of the Kingdom, will induce Mr Bush to change his mind. The pessimism was reflected in the extraordinarily menacing language of a senior unnamed Saudi representative, who warned in The New York Times that if the worst came to the worst, Riyadh and other Arab states might use the "oil weapon" against Washington and – far from supporting a US attack on Saddam Hussein – demand the closure of US military bases in the region."

Military manoeuvres in the dark  4/26/02 IntelBriefing: "There are now a large number of reports emanating from Middle East sources which if true would suggest that major military re-deployments are under way and perhaps even preparations for a wider conflict. On closer examination some reports only appear to provide evidence of a prudent attempt to prepare for the unexpected, while others remain only the product of the Middle East's famous rumour mill. Strangely only Israel would seem to benefit from this surfeit of alarmist reporting as any suggestion of a build-up of Arab military power would only serve as an excuse for Israel maintaining an ultra-tough line on any negotiations with the Palestinians and further encourage support from the United States."

Saudis issue blunt warning to Bush  4/25/02 BBC 

Saudi prince to tell Bush of Arab ire  4/25/02 IHT: said prince is the actual ruler of Saudi Arabia.

Crown Prince arrives in US on historic mission  4/24/02 Arab News: “Crown Prince Abdullah will seek to impress on Bush that Arab public opinion is angry at the United States because of its support for Israel and urge him to end Washington’s alignment with Sharon’s policies,” says another Saudi official." - so angry most adults support bin Laden, according to polls…

Microsoft blames Israeli branch for outrageous advertisement  4/21/02 Arab News, Saudi Arabia 

U.S. suspects Saudi pact with Saddam  4/19/02 Debka: Debka is an Israeli psyops site.

Saudis desperate for Russia's help  4/19/02 Stratfor 

Arab telethons boost Palestinian cause  4/14/02 BBC: "Rulers and citizens in the Gulf Arab states have donated millions of dollars to the Palestinians in fundraising telethons held around the region. The Saudi organisers of a three-day telethon say they have received donations topping $150m."

We should do more than donate money to Palestinians  4/12/02 Arab News, Saudi Arabia: fightin' words.

Arabs draw closer to action  4/3/02 Asia Times: "According to the Arab daily Asharaq al-Ossat, some US$27 billion has been withdrawn from foreign banks by Saudi investors since September 11. The report said that Saudi investors felt uneasy about their investments in the West, and their worst fears became true when US authorities froze the investments and assets of a number of Saudis on charges of being linked to the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks." And the Israeli site says one month's supply of suicide bomb belts is $5,000.

Businessmen seek reassurance on safety in US  3/24/02 Arab News, Saudi Arabia 

Report indicates major U.S.-Saudi rift  3/20/02 Stratfor 

U.S. drops Saudis from allies list  3/1/02 Washington Times: from the Rev Sun Yung Moon

Saudi plan fascinating: Israel  2/27/02 Times of India 

Saudi firm signs railway deal with China company  2/9/02 Arab News: and the Saudis are hardline anticommunists…


UK ministers suppressed Saudi torture report  2/1/02 Irish Times: "A top secret report revealing the extent of torture meted out to Britons accused of bombings in Saudi Arabia was circulating at the highest levels of the UK government a year ago but ministers decided to suppress the evidence, according to the Guardian newspaper. The report described how the Britons were subjected to physical assaults, including beating on the soles of their feet - confirming accounts published by the Guardian. It also included unflattering comments about Prince Naif, the Saudi Interior Minister, suggesting he was a protagonist of torture and an anti-western conservative." So torture in the US is OK, but not in Saudi Arabia? Where is Alan Dershowitz!

Fahd pardons almost half the prisoners  1/30/02 The News, Pakistan: clearing the decks?

The coming Saudi eruption  1/29/02 Guardian, UK: "As al-Qaida prepares its next move, the House of Saud is desperate to get US troops to leave the Arabian peninsula."

Saudis ask U.S. to reduce forces, W. House admits  1/28/02 CNN: "Saudi Arabian officials have asked the United States to reduce its military presence in their country, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card told CNN on Sunday."

Downfall Would Cause Serious Repercussions, Intelligence Chief Says  1/28/02 International Herald Tribune (IHT): This just in from IHT, made up of the New York Times and the Washington Post, for overseas consumption. Wake up boys: "A classified U.S. report taken from a Saudi intelligence survey of educated Saudis between the ages of 25 and 41 in mid-October concluded that 95 percent of them supported Mr. bin Laden's cause, according to an administration official with access to such reports."

THE WAR AGAINST THE SAUDIS  1/23/02 the roots of the US Saudi rifts are in 1998? "The pivotal event occurred without much public notice, on September 23, 1998, during Crown Prince Abdullah's visit to the US, where he met with the presidents of the major US oil companies, "with whom he exchanged cordial talks and reviewed issues pertaining to petroleum affairs," as the Saudi embassy website delicately phrases it. But the reality lurking beneath the veneer of diplomatic phrases was a lot rougher: according to widespread reports in the Arab media, the Prince basically told the Aramco consortium that their monopolistic state-privileged status was about to be revoked."

US military changes female policy in Saudi Arabia  1/23/02 Hindustani Times: Aramco looses its monopoly and the US discovers feminism in Arabia!

Win American hearts through sustained lobbying: Neil Bush  1/22/02 Arab News, Saudi Arabia: ""The US media campaign against the interests of Arabs and Muslims and the American public opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be influenced through a sustained lobbying and PR effort," Bush, chairman and chief executive officer of Ignite! Inc., said in his keynote address on the concluding day of the three-day Jeddah Economic Forum at Hilton Hotel here."

The Peters Principle: How Unpleasant Fictions Fuel a Culture War  1/21/02 Defense and the National Interest: a DOD related US website - "Far from being "funded by all those drivers of those oversized SUVs on American roads," it is Saudi Arabia that is helping to finance the United States, directly through its arms purchases and indirectly through the market mechanism holding the price of oil down… When he heaped all the blame for the America's mess with Islam on the "Anti-women, anti-meritocratic, anti-democracy, anti-education in any meaningful, liberating sense, racist and profoundly anti-freedom, Saudi-sponsored religious extremism" which is "funded by all the drivers of those oversized SUVs on American roads," Peters is used the same kind of fanatical reasoning as that was used by the ignorant Mullahs who tried to move Afghanistan from the 13th Century to the 7th Century. My advice: Just say no to culture war. Call it anti-culture war."

Saudi denounces US agenda behind bombing campaign  1/21/02 Sydney Morning Herald: "In an almost unprecedented criticism of US foreign policy, Mohammad al-Oteibi, the former Saudi ambassador to Kabul, said Osama bin Laden "is only a card in the game played by the United States and of which it has convinced the world to justify intervention in Afghanistan. If the United States had wanted to arrest bin Laden, they could have done so easily without taking the trouble to launch this fanciful war ... they could have caught him long ago," he said. The response to the September 11 attacks in the United States was intended "to impose [American] hegemony on [Afghanistan] and to set [Americans] up there to achieve their objectives" in Asia, the former envoy said.

Saudis tell US forces to get out  1/19/02 Guardian, UK: No US paper would dare say this, they only talk about "maybe". Osama thus accomplishes a prime war aim. But the US won Afghanistan, right?

U.S. Denies Talk of Forces Vacating Saudi Arabia  1/18/02 Fox News: De Nial

Saudis May Soon Ask U.S. to End Military Presence  1/18/02 IHT 

Saudis May Seek U.S. Exit  1/18/02 Washington Post: bin Laden victory: "Past and present U.S. officials said a Saudi decision to ask the Americans to pull forces out of their country could also complicate the Saudi-American relationship, which was put under great strain by the events of Sept. 11, and appear to give the impression of rewarding Osama bin Laden, who has vilified the royal family for hosting American troops, about 5,000 at the present time."

Saudi family to sue US government for kidnapping  1/16/02 Arab News: "A Saudi family, which claims that one of its members was "kidnapped" by US intelligence in Pakistan, has decided to sue the United States government, an Arabic newspaper reported yesterday. Relatives said they lost track of Abdullah Al-Matrafi, director of the Wafa charity, on Dec. 10 after he called them from Lahore airport in Pakistan, shortly before he was supposed to board an Emirates flight to Jeddah via Dubai."

Senator Sees End to U.S. Military Use of Saudi Base  1/15/02 Reuters: "The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (news - web sites) said on Tuesday the U.S. military might need to end operations at a Saudi Arabian air base given the restrictions on U.S. military personnel there." The bases were built at the cost of billions, part of which went to the bin Laden family construction company. The move would be a tremendous defeat for Americans -- it is one of bin Laden's major war aims.

Saudis defy US pressure to revise curriculum.  1/14/02 Ummah News: brainwash the kids so they stop protesting: that always works, right?

Internet and the changing pattern in social values  1/13/02 Arab News, Saudi Arabia: From Saudi Arabia itself! "The Internet is now a great influence on human behavior and relationships. Its influence can also be viewed as a changing pattern in middle class social values. Great exposure to the Internet and an opportunity to communicate with other people in other societies has led to this tremendous alteration in social values."

Saudis Shocked -- Bush Energy Move Terrifies Middle East  1/10/02 Pacific News 

Hotlines for reporting erring police officers  1/5/02 Arab News 

Makkah imam slams Western arrogance  1/5/02 Arab News:  "The imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah yesterday slammed the Western arrogance saying that it thrives on humiliating and subjugating other nations. Sheikh Saleh ibn Humeid also said in his Friday sermon, televised around the world by satellite channels, that there is a huge gap between theory and practice of the Western principles of democracy, freedom and human rights."

Arrest report dismissed as baseless  12/25/01 Arab News: "The Saudi Embassy in Washington denied a report that appeared in the Kansas City Star newspaper on Friday which said former Makkah Governor Prince Majed, 64, was a captive in Afghanistan."

What is happening to Saudi society?  12/25/01 Arab News: "...some 1,000 young men gathered near Al-Nawras roundabout on Jeddah’s Corniche. They were harassing women in cars; they hit the cars and smashed the windows and even prevented other cars from passing through the area. Their rage and violence seemed unstoppable as they had gone so far as to smash the rear window of a police patrol car. The police called for back up as they found it impossible to control so large a group. The back up arrived and as they did so, the young men fled. Some people were injured as the police forces dispersed the large crowds."

Bin Laden Translation Omitted Sections  12/20/01 ABC News: "A new ABCNEWS translation of the Osama bin Laden videotape released last week reveals information that may be embarrassing to Saudi Arabia, a very important U.S. ally."

Saudi Princess arrested in Florida for beating servant  12/18/01 Miami Herald 

Signs of Strain  12/17/01 ABC News: "The U.S. military campaign to crush Saudi-born terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and his global al Qaeda network is impacting on America's relationship with one of its oldest and staunchest Middle East allies, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

30 Saudis among Al-Qaeda men held in Pakistan: Report  12/16/01 Arab News, Saudi Arabia 

Mystery sheikh fuels Saudi jitters  12/15/01 Guardian, UK 

Saudi names the cleric filmed with bin Laden  12/15/01 Telegraph, UK 

Trainee Saudi pilot released from US jail  12/14/01 Arab News, Saudi Arabia 

Saudi clans working with U.S. oil firms may be tied to bin Laden  12/10/01 Boston Herald 

U.S. ties to Saudi elite may be hurting war on terrorism  12/10/01 Boston Herald 

Understanding of Islam in the West  12/7/01 Arab News: Interesting attepmt to unravel western cultural racism.

Saudis fear prisoners will be massacred  11/27/01 Irish Times 

Al-Qaeda man freed from Riyadh jail reveals it all  11/26/01 Arab News, Arabia 

A victory indeed on the electronic battlefield  11/24/01 Arab News, Saudi Arabia: "Once I had responded thoughtfully to some of the more emotional and critical e-mails, I was amazed at what followed. The writers toned down their rhetoric; they were no longer abusive and ideas began to circulate and be exchanged. The anti-Arab and anti-Islamic tirades were quietly forgotten and slipped into the realm of regrettable past mistakes. A dialogue had begun and in it, there was understanding and concern — and a willingness to admit that, however painful it might be, perhaps America too had its faults. This is exactly what I meant in the opening lines about a new media battlefield — a battlefield where we can fight with understanding, knowledge and tact. And in so doing, we can win some important victories."

Companies Compete to Provide Saudi Internet Veil  11/23/01 NYT: "Nearly a dozen software companies, most of them American, are competing for a contract to help Saudi Arabia block access to Web sites the Saudi government deems inappropriate for that nation's half- million Internet users. For the companies, the Saudi account would be important not only for the direct revenue which analysts say could be worth several million dollars but also for its value as a flagship that could help win similar contracts from other governments." The dirty dozen includes Secure Computing & Web Sense. Websense's current clients include more than half of the Fortune 500 companies, the United States Army and Saudi Aramco, the large Saudi oil company. Other software that Saudi Arabia has considered includes products from Surf Control, a London company; N2H2, of Seattle; and Symantec, a Cupertino, Calif., company.

House of Saud looks close to collapse  11/21/01 Guardian, UK 

Missing aid worker ‘in Kabul custody’  11/18/01 Arab News: Saudi aid worker in Northern Alliance custody, let's hope he survives.

On U.S. -Saudi Relations With us . . . or against?  11/18/01 San Francisco Chronicle 

Muslims urged to shun individualism  11/16/01 Arab News: Manda platano!

Oil Diplomacy Muddled U.S. Pursuit of bin Laden, New Book Contends  11/12/01 NYT: "The book by Mr. Brisard, written with Guillaume Dasquié, a journalist, also makes public for the first time the first international warrant for the arrest of Mr. bin Laden. It is a 1998 Interpol document from Libya. The so-called red notice, file number 1998/20032, accuses Mr. bin Laden and three Libyans of killing two Germans in Libya in 1994. The book identifies the victims as Silvan Becker and his wife and says they were German antiterror agents. It says Libya's leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, sought their killers because they were members of a group linked to Mr. bin Laden that also wanted to kill Colonel Qaddafi. That group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, was listed by President Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks as one whose assets should be frozen worldwide. According to the new French book, Mr. bin Laden was in Libya when the two Germans were killed in 1994. The book also asserts that Colonel Qaddafi's fears had some foundation. It says the British secret service, MI5, tried to assassinate Colonel Qaddafi in 1996 using members of that same Libyan Islamic Fighting Group."

Saudi Dissident Says Al Qaeda Planning More Attacks  11/12/01 Reuters 

'Michael Jordan of Saudi diplomacy' leading PR full-court press  11/11/01 Jerusalem Post 

Saudi anger at US silence  11/10/01 BBC 

Saudi Arabia Breaks Up Al Qaeda Cells -Diplomats  11/10/01 Reuters 

US-Saudi relations confused  11/10/01 The Advertiser, Australia: "The Saudis were furious; the Americans were worried. So President George W. Bush called Crown Prince Abdullah to apologise – for the US media."

Blackmail and threats not calculated to strengthen ties between states  11/8/01 Arab News, Saudi Arabia: House Saud bares its knuckles to the Wall Street Journals' classic colonial piece: "In conclusion, US-Saudi relations are indeed at a crossroads. If attacks on Saudi Arabia and its people do not cease, Saudi Arabia might well find it necessary to reassess its 70-year special relationship with the United States. This might well include reversing its policies and entering into partnerships with the rest of the world. This might well include cutting its links with American educational institutions where Saudi students face daily harassment. This might well include pulling hundreds of billions of US dollar private sector investments out of the American financial system, thus further accelerating the US economic recession. This might well include playing a different role within OPEC. The list goes on. No one is served by the rhetoric of hate and bigotry. Terrorism takes different shapes and forms."

Osama offered to form army to challenge Saddam’s forces: Turki  11/7/01 Arab News, Saudi Arabia: From the formerly unobtrusive Prince Turki, brother of the king and ex-head of Saudi secret services…

SAUDIS ANGRY AT THE US MEDIA TALKING ABOUT IRANISATION OF THE KINGDOM  11/7/01 Iran Press Service, France: ""Like the months before the overthrew of the Shah in Iran, when cassettes containing speeches of Ayatollah Khomeini were distributed secretly, in Saudi Arabia, it is the same thing, Ben Laden having replaced Khomeini, but the messages to the people are similar", he pointed out. Pakistani newspapers say the Saudis have conveyed to the United States, via Islamabad, their concern that if bombing of Afghanistan was not stopped during Ramazan, the Kingdom could face "massive rallies and upheavals", involving hundreds of thousands of Muslims who gather there from all over the world for the last days of the holy month, according to Mr. Salim Bokhari of the Pakistani newspaper "The News"."

Pressed by Militants and the West, Royal Family Treads a Thin Line  11/5/01 IHT: "Saudi Arabia has 30 percent unemployment and one of the highest birthrates in the world. Average income has dropped by at least half since the oil boom of the 1980s." Actually, per capita income has gone from $25,000 in mid 80's to $7,000 today.

Kingdom has big role to play in Afghanistan  11/4/01 Arab News: See our page on Prince Turki - "JEDDAH, 4 November — Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former director of intelligence in Saudi Arabia, knows Afghanistan and its leaders far better than most others. He has been closely involved with the country and its problems for nearly a quarter of a century. His interest began before the Russians invaded the country at the end of 1979 and has gone well beyond the usual limits of his job. It became a heartfelt attachment to what he believed was a just cause: an occupied people seeking independence. I could read these deep feelings on his face when he entered Kabul in April 1992 with Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. The two men were the first non-Afghan leaders to visit Kabul after its liberation." … Prince Turki reacted angrily to claims by American analysts that Saudi Arabia breeds terrorism. " This is totally unacceptable. Let them look at what they have, at the terrorist organizations in their own country. In the United States there are 200 terrorist organizations, targeting not only domestic interests but those of the entire world. Instead of highlighting a very small minority of bad people, they should look at the thousands of others who are the peaceable and peace-loving majority."

Muslims must take initiative to solve problems  11/4/01 Arab News: "As for the indiscriminate bombing (of Afghanistan), we must ask where is this situation heading. Is the objective the American occupation of Afghanistan or the destruction of the Afghan people by the Americans? I do not see it this way. I am not defending the United States but the Taleban should bear the responsibility before the world. They have been served with resolutions by the United Nations asking them to hand over (Osama Bin Laden) or bear the consequences. This is an international demand, not a demand by just one country." The prince dismissed the charges from some quarters that Wahhabism fostered extremism. He said: "It is an unacceptable proposition invented by the smear-campaigners who seek to serve the Zionist cause. The Zionists would like to see, as would the perpetrators of the terror attacks in New York and Washington, the relationship between the United States and Arabs and Muslims severed. Each of them — the Zionists and the terrorist attackers — serves the interests of the other." Prince Turki added: "This does not mean we accept the bombing of homes and innocent people. No, we sympathize with the Afghan people and we have told the United States that its efforts to achieve its objective and catch the perpetrators should not be at the expense of the Afghan people." Speaking on the Taleban’s excesses in the last civil war, prince said: "How many Afghans were killed by the Taleban in its battles after the capture of Kabul, Mazar-e-Sherif, Bamian and other regions? They did not even spare the trees and plants."

There is enough proof against Bin Laden: Turki  11/4/01 Arab News: See our page on Prince Turki - "Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former director of Saudi intelligence, said yesterday that there was enough proof against Osama Bin Laden to convict him of the terrorist attacks in the US. "The religious edicts (fatwas) issued by him are the main evidence because they call for attacking American soldiers and civilians."

We will recall Saudis in US if harassment continues: Naif  10/31/01 Arab News 

Hijackers got visas in Saudi Arabia  10/31/01 MSNBC 

New snags in US-Saudi ties play to bin Laden  10/30/01 Christian Science Monitor 

Saudi Arabia, the US and terrorism  10/29/01 Arab News: "Only when faced with retaliation for terrorist acts, did Al-Qaeda try to pose as the champion of the Palestinians. Saddam Hussein did the same when the world turned against his occupation of Kuwait, in order to try and win support from the Arab countries."

Hijackers were from wealthy Saudi families  10/28/01 Sunday Times, UK: "Predominantly from the western provinces of the kingdom, they were also all adherents to the Salafist school of Islam, which believes in following literally the doctrines and practices of the earliest disciples of the Prophet Mohammed. Al-Fagih, the leader of the London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, said contact with dozens of local sources confirmed visits by at least 11 of the hijackers to training camps of Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda... One hijacker now identified as a ringleader on September 11 is Nawaf al-Hamzi, who sat in seat 5F of American Airlines flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. Al-Hamzi, according to local sources, is the brother of a police chief from the coastal town of Jizan, in southwest Saudi Arabia... Another al-Hamzi brother, Salem, was on the same plane, in seat 5E. Hani Hanjour, a trained commercial airline pilot and the son of a wealthy businessman from Ti'af, 50 miles east of Mecca, was also on the flight, as was Majed Moqed, a law student at the King Saud University in Riyadh. He is the son of ahead of the Baniauf tribe and from Annakhil, a village near Medina. Friends have said that he was known for his desire to join a jihad and was a relative of an extremist leader who took part in the 1979 storming of Mecca's Grand Mosque, Islam's most holy shrine. "


America’s free society has no freedom of information  10/26/01 Arab News: "But the American people are not allowed to hear or see what is happening around the world. They cannot see the pain their proxies are causing or hear the cries of victims for help and understanding. It is a total blackout. There is no TV station showing anything about the world outside the US. The massacres of Palestinian women and children or the demolition of their homes are not shown on any American TV, or printed in newspapers. It is a total censorship so far as the news of the Middle East, Asia or even Europe is concerned. There is no world outside the US. The US media impose full restrictions, curtailment and full censorship on all the news coming into the US."

Inside the Bin Laden Family  10/25/01 ABC News: the gloves are off, this interview would never have been on mainstream media a few weeks back, but we've had the NSA revealing intercepts from House Saud and now Diane Sawyer interviewing Osama's sister in law - "What I have heard is he has the backing of some of the royal family. They think the same way. Not all of them, but some of them. You have to understand, I think in Saudi Arabia Osama bin Laden has a little following. And in my opinion, this is what makes him dangerous .... Because he has, I think, he has the backing of a lot of people there."

Saudi hits back at Western "hate" campaign and vows to defend Islam  10/25/01 AFP: House Saud staking its positions in the face of Western media attacks

Take stand against smear campaign, Abdullah tells media  10/25/01 Arab News: House Saud hits back

Economic fate again in Saudi hands - U.S. economy threatened by potential instability in kingdom  10/25/01 MSNBC 

The Geopolitics of War  10/24/01 The Nation: ". In one of the most extraordinary occurrences in modern American history, President Roosevelt met with King Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi regime, on a US warship in the Suez Canal following the February 1945 conference in Yalta. Although details of the meeting have never been made public, it is widely believed that Roosevelt gave the King a promise of US protection in return for privileged American access to Saudi oil--an arrangement that remains in full effect today and constitutes the essential core of the US-Saudi relationship."

It’s time Americans asked, ‘Why us?’  10/23/01 Arab News: Intense Saudi discourse against US hypocrisy and hype, the gloves are coming off of US ally as House Saud suffer numerous attacks in the American media

Oldest copies of Holy Qur’an on display  10/23/01 Arab News: Prince Turki in a different role: he is rumored to have been friendly with bin Laden; he was head of Saudi secret services until August, when he was fired 3 weeks before 9-11, around the time when rumors of an impending major Al Qaeda action were breaking out: "According to Prince Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the board of directors of the center, the exhibition seeks to highlight various phases of the Arabic calligraphy as it evolved in different periods and regions. Also, it provides an insight into the evolution of printing through the ages. The prince said the exhibition is the largest collection of Qur’anic editions under one roof. "

Southwest Saudi Arabia: Hotbed of Radical Islam  10/23/01 Stratfor, US 

Pressure on the Saudi safety valve  10/23/01 The Guardian, UK 

US ally fights growing anger  10/22/01 Boston Globe 

A wall of denial foils investigators  10/21/01 Chicago Tribune: "High-level denials like the ones we're hearing are just extraordinary, even if it is for domestic consumption," said Patrick Clawson, director of research at Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "Are the Saudis just being unhelpful? Or do they actually believe what they're saying? In either case, it's an alarming development."

KING'S RANSOM  10/21/01 New Yorker: Eagerly awaited article by Seymour Hersh since some explosive NSA-tells-all revelations leaked last week - "Since 1994 or earlier, the National Security Agency has been collecting electronic intercepts of conversations between members of the Saudi Arabian royal family, which is headed by King Fahd. The intercepts depict a regime increasingly corrupt, alienated from the country's religious rank and file, and so weakened and frightened that it has brokered its future by channelling hundreds of millions of dollars in what amounts to protection money to fundamentalist groups that wish to overthrow it."

Two Top Senators Lash Out at Saudis, Egypt  10/21/01 Reuters: fine, the US will overthrow the Saudis and replace them with… bin Ladin? He and his peers want the price of oil to go up to $100/barrel.

Saudi Arabia Detains Supporters  10/20/01 AP: "He [Saudi Prince Nayef] also warned that the kingdom will side with any Arab country that may become a target in the U.S.-led anti-terror campaign."

Kingdom denies dispute with US  10/20/01 Arab News 

Saudis Seek U.S. Muslims for Their Sect  10/20/01 NYT 

Up to 100 bin Laden men arrested in Saudi: opposition  10/18/01 AFP 

Fahd leads donations to Afghan fund  10/18/01 Arab News 

We are not obliged to tolerate ostracism  10/18/01 Arab News 

Rep. Cynthia McKinney On Dissent And Her Letter To Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal  10/18/01 Black Electorate: "In the FBI's own words, its counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) had as a goal, "to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of black organizations and to prevent black "leaders from gaining respectability." And instead of real leaders, COINTELPRO offers us hand-picked "court priests" who are more loyal to the plan than to he people. Court priests who preach peace, peace when there is no peace."As you can see, the statistics are very grim for Black America. Although your offer was not accepted by Mayor Giuliani, I would like to ask you to consider assisting Americans who are in dire need right now. I believe we can guide your generosity to help improve the state of Black America and build better lives.

Oil Omissions - Bush Sr., Cheney Have Big Stakes in Saudi Status Quo  10/18/01 Common Dreams 

'Saudi connection' puts new strain on alliance  10/18/01 Independent, UK: "Investigators are concentrating on a "Saudi connection" to the 11 September terrorist attacks on America, suggesting that part of the conspiracy was hatched there – to the intense disquiet of Saudi Arabia's ruling monarchy."

The coming Arab crash  10/18/01 The Guardian, UK: If the Saudi and other pro-western regimes are lined up against Bin Laden, they will fall

The Saudi Question  10/17/01 Democratic Underground: Scroll down for the good stuff, including: "Saudi Arabia fired its prince in charge of, ahem, spooks and dirty tricks, shortly after Sept. 11, presumably because he was too much in bed with Pakistan, and by extension, or perhaps (it is rumored) much more directly than that, with Osama Bin Laden. In other words, Bin Laden, who wants nothing more than to destroy the House of Saud, not only had extensive contacts on the inside, but basically could call up the head of Saudi intelligence anytime he wanted! How about that! I say 'basically' because hard details simply cannot be found in this matter. If they could be, the sources would be searched for using torture and beheaded as soon as possible as enemies of the state, which is treason, which is punishable by death under the Wahabi interperetation of Islamic law. You know... the one the Taliban uses."

Saudis May Ask US Military to Leave  10/17/01 Middle East Newsline: "Crown Prince Abdullah, the sources said, appears to favor such a call. The move is said to be opposed by Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan, a rival to the throne."

The ‘New Wahhabi’ movement  10/17/01 MSNBC: The demonization of an entire religion: "Increasingly, Saudi-funded sect viewed as central to U.S. war on terrorism"

Saudis alarmed by spate of U.S. media attacks  10/17/01 Reuters 

FBI quizzes Saudi pilot for buying two planes  10/16/01 Arab News: So much for one of Ashcroft's would be detainees. Apparently a legitimate businessman, who knows how long this man would have "disappeared" had he been in the US

A Grunt's View of the Saudi Volcano  10/16/01 Defense and the National Interest: Posted 10/4 - "A recent demonstration illustrates how popular bin Laden's actions are in Saudi Arabia: On the night of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon, 50,000 people gathered in Riyadh and celebrated [a far larger number than the small demonstrations on the West Bank shown by CNN—CS]. In Saudi Arabia, such demonstrations are unheard of. And it scared the royal family to death."

A Series of Saudi Missteps Nurtured the Taliban  10/16/01 IHT 

Muslim allies break ranks with US  10/16/01 The Guardian: "Relations between the US and two of its core allies in the war against terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, approached crisis point yesterday after the Saudi interior minister, Prince Naif, attacked the assault on Afghanistan while Pakistan pressed Washington to ensure that its bombing campaign would be short-lived….And in the most extreme language to emerge from Tehran since September 11, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said that the US air strikes on the Taliban were "dragging the world into a war"..."You can't really separate Bin Laden from the Saudi establishment," Mr Wurmser said. "There are conflicting forces there, and part of the establishment has been working with the Bin Laden faction to embarrass the other half."

S. Arabia lodges protest with US  10/15/01 Dawn, Pakistan 

Saudi elite linked to bin Laden financial empire  10/14/01 Boston Herald 

Drudge Report quotes explosive US revelations on House Saud  10/14/01 Drudge Report: Seymour "Hersh also reports that a number of conversations between members of the Saudi Arabian royal family that were electronically intercepted by the National Security Agency, beginning as early as 1994, "demonstrated to analysts that by 1996 Saudi money was supporting Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda and other extremist groups." The intercepts, Hersh writes, "depict a regime increasingly corrupt, alienated from the country's religious rank and file, and so weakened and frightened that it has brokered its future by channelling hundreds of millions of dollars in what amounts to protection money to fundamentalist groups that wish to overthrow it." By 1996, Hersh reports, Saudi money was supporting Al Qaeda and similar extremist groups in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, and throughout both Central Asia and the Persian Gulf region. "Ninety-six is the key year," one American intelligence official tells Hersh in the October 22, 2001 issue of the NEW YORKER . Hersh reports that the intercepts have provided several important insights into political and economic affairs in the kingdom, including the extent of the physical incapacitation of King Fahd, the corruption of specific royal-family members, and the funding of fundamentalist groups through charities. The intelligence official tells Hersh that asfar as bankrolling fundamentalist groups goes, the Saudis had "gone to the dark side." Current and former intelligence officials suggest, Hersh reports, that the instability of the Saudi regime is "the most immediate threat to American economic and political interests in the Middle East," and that "the Bush Administration, like the Clinton Administration, is refusing to confront this reality." Impacting Monday…

Interview: Saad Al Fagih  10/14/01 Front Line: [Front Line]: You're saying that, under the surface, there's a lot of jubilation that there was a successful attack on the United States. [Saad Al Fagih]:The first thing that happened after the incident, people received a message in their mobile phones, "Congratulations." And then the next message in the mobile phone was, "Our prayers to bin Laden." That was very natural. Not in the religious circles, in the zealot circles or the Islamically devoted circles, [but] very much in the liberal and corrupt circles, people who do not observe Islam, who do not [go] to mosque or [are] maybe involved in drinking or women or even drugs. They were very jubilant and happy and looking at bin Laden as a hero. People started killing sheep and killing camels and making big feasts and inviting their relatives and friends to celebrate the big event in America. You cannot see those things. There's no freedom of expression. There's no freedom of assembly. There's no way to expose those feelings. ...

Looking for Answers  10/14/01 Front Line 

Achilles' heel of America  10/14/01 Kavkaz: "And you see, God already gave them the warning only eleven years back - as chinks of Kuwait burning by torches. O, similar, that soon we shall admire satellite photos of Persian Gulf on fire! What a nice show it will be, My God!"

Saudi Aid to War on Terror Is Criticized  10/14/01 LA Times: It's a problem," said Robert Baer, a former CIA officer in the Middle East. "Saudi Arabia is completely unsupportive as of today. The rank-and-file Saudi policeman is sympathetic to Bin Laden. They're not telling us who these people were on the planes….Cannistraro, who left the CIA in 1990 after a 27-year career, said he has retained contacts within Saudi Arabia. Based on their information, Cannistraro said he believes the amount of money flowing from there to Al Qaeda is, "at a minimum, tens of millions a year. That's a bare minimum. . . . The amounts of money from Saudi businessmen going to the Al Qaeda organization accounts for much of the resources the Al Qaeda has." Six or more of the 19 suspected hijackers who crashed U.S. jetliners on Sept. 11 are believed to have obtained their visas at the U.S. consulate in Jidda, Saudi Arabia. "

Treasury action smacks of arrogance, violates human rights, says Al-Qadi  10/14/01 Saudi Online 

Bomb victim's father links bin Laden to Saudi attacks  10/13/01 Independent, UK 

Saudi Arabia is unsafe for Westerners, says dissident  10/13/01 Independent, UK: interview with the well informed and well reasoned Saad al-Fagih, the director of the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia - "Mr Fagih said he had heard of two attacks on Westerners in recent days that had gone unreported by the authorities – a small explosion in a hotel in Riyadh and another at a grocery store in Al-Khobar."

Why Ryadh Stiffs America  10/13/01 The New Republic: author "JOSHUA TEITELBAUM is research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University, and the author of Holier Than Thou: Saudi Arabia's Islamic Opposition, published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Widespread attacks reported on Westerners in Gulf states  10/13/01 World Tribune, Falls Church, VA 

Saudi clerics issue edicts against helping 'infidels'  10/12/01 Christian Science Monitor 

Robert Fisk: Egypt is a nation caught between Islam and the West  10/12/01 Independent, UK: "most of the "Islamists" who spread their word in the towns around Luxor were Saudis. Their leaflets had been printed in Saudi Arabia. And why hadn't the Egyptians dealt with this? Well, one Egyptian detective confided, Egypt wasn't going to attack a country which brought it great wealth: Saudi Arabia."

US anger at lax response  10/12/01 The Times, UK: "Washington’s greatest concern is the unwillingness of the Saudis to clamp down on charities and organisations that channel money to bin Laden, as 19 other countries have done."

Blair knocked off course by Saudi rejection  10/12/01 The Times,UK 

Why the U.S. Can't Lean on Saudi Arabia  10/12/01 Village Voice 

German couple escape unharmed from petrol bomb in Saudi Arabia  10/11/01 AFP 

US inquires about six Lebanese allegedly planning attacks in Kuwait  10/11/01 AFP: The United States has asked Lebanon for information on six Lebanese suspected of preparing attacks in Kuwait and allegedly linked to Islamist Osama Ben Laden, Prosecutor General Adnan Addum said Wednesday.

Kuwait alert after Canadian shot  10/11/01 BBC 

Royal Mess  10/11/01 New Yorker: "As the United States government weighs various responses to the September 11th attacks, the role of Saudi Arabia is crucial—both because it has history of hosting U.S. bases and because much of Osama bin Laden's animosity is directed against the Saudi royal family. (Bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia but has been stripped of his citizenship.) This article, from 1994, looks at dissatisfaction with the House of Saud from within the kingdom."

New York Mayor Rejects Saudi Prince's Donation  10/11/01 Reuters 

New York Mayor Rejects Saudi Prince's Donation  10/11/01 Reuters: New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on Thursday rejected a Saudi prince's $10 million donation for victims of the World Trade Center after the prince criticized U.S. policy in the Middle East. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal toured the site of the Sept. 11 destruction with the mayor, offered to donate $10 million and said, "The government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause."

Saudi oil fields vulnerable to attack  10/10/01 Taipei Times 

Saudis Refuse to Rule Out Terror Link  10/9/01 Washington Post 

Did suicide bomber cause Riyadh blast?  10/8/01 Dawn, Pakistan 

Dissident clerics warn Saudi royals  10/8/01 The Guardian, UK 

Pakistani suicide bomber behind Saudi explosion  10/7/01 AFP 

American killed in Saudi explosion  10/7/01 BBC: "The attack on the US base five years ago drove the American forces to relocate to the desert. Nowadays their bases may be out of range of attack, but in the last 12 months, there have been a series of mysterious bombings in Saudi Arabia, all targeting Westerners."

Terrorism finds foot soldiers in Saudis  10/7/01 Chicago Tribune 

Briton hurt as blast kills two in busy Saudi street  10/7/01 Independent, UK: White House - "Based on first reports, we believe this is an isolated incident, not related to 11 September." Bush is determined to minimize the Saudi dissidence which is one of the roots of Al Qaeda, see our page on Saudi Arabia.

Two dead in Saudi Arabian blast  10/7/01 Salon: "Saudi Arabia has seen a number of bomb attacks since 1996 -- including two attacks in Khobar -- that Saudi officials said were linked to a settling of scores between criminals." - standard line from House Saud, which seeks to minimize a dissident movement they radicalized in their torture cells - see our page on Saudi Arabia

Saudis want royal foe back  10/7/01 Sun Times 

The American Phenomenon and The Bin Laden Phenomenon  10/7/01 The Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia: "It is ironic that the people in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia despise their regime's main ally, the US, even more than the hate towards the US felt by the Palestinians. It may be a surprise to the readers to know that the first reaction to the events of Tuesday was a frantic exchange of congratulatory text messages through mobile phones. People then went on killing sheep and inviting friends for big feasts. America does not know of this seething hatred towards her in the region in general and in the Kingdom in particular. Those who put this in the context of the loathing felt towards superpowers are very much mistaken. Muslims look upon the US from various angles and each glance is enough to precipitate strategic hatred."

The House of Saud In the eye of the storm  10/7/01 The Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia: "The regime purposefully hid the truth about the opposition, peaceful or otherwise, from the Americans for fear that it might lead their masters to withdraw confidence in them and seek other clients. The rulers exploited the deficient American methods of information gathering and their reliance on technology. They succeeded in cheating their American masters about the identity of those responsible for Al-Khubar. They went on hiding the truth even after the events of Nairobi and Dar es Salaam while bin Laden’s extended organisation was in Saudi Arabia and not in Afghanistan. Even today, the Americans are unaware of the fact that the majority of bin Laden followers and sympathisers are in the Kingdom."

Opposition says Saudi royal family facing crisis of religious legitimacy  10/6/01 Khilafah 

L'hypothèse de la piste saoudienne  10/4/01 Le Monde 

US defense secretary to visit Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, Uzbekistan  10/2/01 AFP 

Prince Naif issues directives to help Afghans in Saudi Arabia  10/1/01 Saudi Online 

Saudi Arabia refuses attacks from its soil  10/1/01 The News, Pakistan 

Saudi Will Not Allow Use of U.S. Bases - Minister  9/30/01 Reuters 

Saudi military source denies US to use air base against bin Laden: report  9/29/01 AFP 

Bush says Saudis 'nothing but cooperative'  9/25/01 AFP, France 

Saudi Arabia: Arab ally 'dithering'  9/25/01 News Telegraph, UK 

Saudis deny base for U.S. military attack  9/25/01 World Tribune, Falls Church VA 

Saudi Arabia Rejects U.S. Request  9/23/01 AP 

US Bereft of Arab Coalition After Saudi Arabia Backs out  9/22/01 Debka, Israel 

Saudi family accuses agents of abuse in case of mistaken identity  9/16/01 Boston Globe 

Will Pakistan Jump to US Demands?  9/14/01 Counterpunch: "The Taliban creed is an ultra-sectarian strain, inspired by the Wahhabi sect that rules Saudi Arabia. The severity of the Afghan mullahs has been denounced by Sunni clerics at al-Azhar in Cairo and Shi-ite theologians in Qom as a disgrace to the Prophet."


The Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia critically important Saudi dissident site

Google directory on Saudi Arabia

Bin Laden's dangerous Mideast links  10/5/01 Khathimerini, Greece: Bin Laden's group has managed to infiltrate the military, the secret services and even government circles of Arab states, including the two leading countries of the Arab world, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Supplying the torturers in Saudi Arabia - Amnesty International

Torture: Culture of Brutality- Amnesty International

A Secret State of Suffering: Saudi Arabia - Amnesty International News feed on Saudi Arabia News feed on Saudi Arabia

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