2001 News Story

Saudi reaction to Bin Ladin tape
HRH Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the Kingdom's Ambassador to the United States, in response to questions regarding Thursday's release of the bin Ladin tape stated the following:

"The tape displays the cruel and inhumane face of a murderous criminal who has no respect for the sanctity of human life or the principles of his faith. Bin Ladin and those he mentions in his tape are deviants and renegades who do not represent the Islamic faith or the Saudi people.  We reject and condemn in the strongest terms possible their attitudes and their actions.  We hope that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will soon be brought to justice and severely punished."

Prince Bandar then addressed some frequently asked questions (FAQs).

On Alleged Saudi Funding for Terrorism

Saudi Arabia does not support or contribute to terrorism. We never have, and we never will.  Terrorism is against our religion and culture, and we have been victims of it for the past four decades.  We monitor all financial transactions to ensure that no money goes to evildoers.  The U.S. Treasury Secretary, the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, and other officials have publicly said that Saudi Arabia has frozen assets and has cooperated fully in this matter.

On Saudi Freezing of Assets

On Saudi Support for Osama bin Ladin

Osama bin Ladin is a dissenter who has taken the side of evil.  His citizenship was revoked in the early 1990s on account of his irresponsible acts and he remains unpopular among our citizens. As a nation, we are horrified by his actions and we reject what he and his followers stand for. They are deviants and criminals whose actions we strongly reject. People must understand that we are also victims of Osama bin Ladin's terrorist acts. 

On the Saudi Education System and Anti-Americanism

Our educational system does not teach anti-American doctrines and hatred of the West. Over the past sixty years, tens of thousands of Americans have lived in Saudi Arabia, among our society.  There has not been one hate crime against any of them.  Islam teaches peace, amicability and tolerance, not violence and hatred. As Saudis and Muslims, we wish to establish friendly relations that serve mutual interests in all spheres. The involvement of Saudi citizens in the September 11 acts of terrorism was shocking to us.  It is important to understand that these individuals were deviants and criminals. They do not represent the people of Saudi Arabia or Islam any more than Jim Jones or Branch Davidians represent America or Christianity.

On Stability in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government has been in existence for almost three hundred years. It is part and parcel of its culture, environment, and habitat.  Are we perfect?  Of course not, but then who is?  Do we strive to be better?  Of course we do.  We are normal people trying to lead normal lives, just like you. Over the past six decades, many have predicted our demise: at times they accuse us of being too backwards, at times too religious, at times too wealthy, at times too poor.  Sometimes we are said to have too few people, at other times we have too many.  The only constant in all of this is that these predictions have all been wrong, and the Kingdom has continued to develop and prosper and become a stronger nation. The goal of the Saudi government is to take care of its people, and to create the environment in which they can lead productive, useful lives.  Our achievements speak for themselves:  over the past thirty years alone, we have invested over $ 1.2 trillion to transform our country from a sandbox into a modern, viable nation.   We have succeeded while others have predicted our demise.  Have we made mistakes along the way?  Of course we have, but we have learned from them.