2004 Press Release

Adel Al-Jubeir's statement on today's brutal murder of U.S. hostage Paul Johnson
Adel Al-Jubeir, Foreign Affairs Advisor to Crown Prince Abdullah, made the following statement today at a press conference at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington DC (*)

“It is with great sadness and pain that we announce the death of Paul Marshall Johnson, Jr.  His body was recovered a short time ago.

“For the past week, men and women of different faiths and nationalities have been praying and hoping that Mr. Johnson would be found and returned safely to his family.  Today, we are faced with the tragedy of his gruesome death at the hands of barbarians who have rejected the teachings of their faith and the principles of humanity.  His brutal murder illustrates the cruelty and inhumanity of the enemy we all are fighting. 

“On behalf of my country and every individual with a sense of decency and humanity, I offer our most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.  You have gone through a terrible ordeal, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.  All of us grieve with you, and your pain is our pain.

 “The people of Saudi Arabia are outraged by the cruel and cold-blooded murder of this innocent man.  His murder has shaken us to the core.  It is a terrible lie that the cowards who committed this inhuman act claim to be Muslim.  There is no justification in our faith for harming the innocent.  Islam teaches us that “the killing of an innocent soul is tantamount to the killing of all of humanity.”  This is what the murderers have done, and     they will have to answer to God Almighty for their grave sin.

 “Since his abduction, Saudi authorities, in close coordination with their American counterparts, embarked upon an intensive search to find him.  Over 15,000 Saudi security personnel were involved, thousands of locations were searched, and leads pursued.  We did everything we could to find him.  And we are deeply sorry that it was not enough. 

“For more than a decade, Mr. Johnson lived a peaceful life in our country, which he grew to love and respect.  He made many friends among us, who will mourn his loss. We owe him our solemn commitment to pursue the criminals and bring them to justice.  And with the help of God Almighty, we will.

“If the intention of the criminals is to shake our resolve, they are mistaken.  Our nation is united and our people are determined to uproot this evil from our midst.  And, God willing, we will.”


(*)  full transcript of the press conference