2004 Press Release

Saudi Officials: No deal with Bin Laden

[Washington, DC] --  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia categorically rejects any claims that its government has ever provided support for bin Laden or Al-Qaeda, or made arrangements with them.  Osama bin Laden was stripped of his Saudi citizenship in 1994, his assets were frozen and he was declared an outlaw.

According to Adel Al-Jubeir, Foreign Affairs Advisor to Crown Prince Abdullah: "Claims that the Saudi government aided or supported or made arrangements with bin Laden are nonsense.  Bin Laden declared war on Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, and it has been our goal since then to bring him to justice."

An official statement from the 9-11 Commission has confirmed that there is no evidence of Saudi government financial support for Al-Qaeda.

Al-Jubeir stated: "It is unfortunate that there are individuals who continue to try to malign the Kingdom by spreading untruths, or making insinuations to damage its reputation."  A similar situation, he said, arose in relation to the so-called "Saudi flights" which supposedly took off before American airspace was opened up in the wake of September 11; there were charges that the Saudi government, and Saudi officials, funded al-Qaeda; it was done with charges that funds from Princess Haifa, the wife of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, made their way to two 9-11 hijackers; and it is now being done now with this outlandish charge," stated Al-Jubeir.  "And just like all the other myths, this one will also be dispelled when the facts
are revealed."

During the late 1990s, Saudi Arabia made numerous attempts to secure bin Laden's extradition from Afghanistan.  When the Taliban government rebuffed these attempts, the Kingdom downgraded its relations with the Taliban and substantially reduced its assistance.

Saudi Arabia has provided humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, as have many other countries, including the United States, to help the people of Afghanistan overcome hunger and poverty, and to rebuild their country after a long, and brutal Soviet occupation.

"Some are trying to intentionally confuse our foreign aid to Afghanistan in the late 1990s with support for bin Laden.  That is misleading and false.

By that definition, every country that provided aid to Afghanistan, including the U.S. and the European countries, supported bin Laden, and that is nonsense," said Al-Jubeir.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the United States alone gave Afghanistan $76.6 million in aid in 1999 and another $113.2 million in 2000.