2004 Public Statement

Letter to Newsweek denouncing televised comments by Evan Thomas

On April 30, 2004, Director of the Saudi Arabian Information Office in Washington DC Nail Al-Jubeir wrote a letter to 'Newsweek' condemning comments by Evan Thomas on television program ‘Inside Washington' that Al-Qaeda is doing the U.S. a favor by attacking government buildings in Saudi Arabia.

                                                                                                                         April 30, 2004

Mr. Daniel Klaidman
Washington Bureau Chief
Newsweek Magazine
1750 Pennsylvania Avenue NW #1220
Washington, DC 20036

Dear Mr. Klaidman:

I am writing in regard to a recent comment made by Evan Thomas on the television program ‘Inside Washington’.  Mr. Thomas stated: “I think Al-Qaeda has done us a favor by blowing up government buildings because it pushes the Saudi government to our side.”

As you know, five people died in this terrorist attack and more than 140 people were injured.  We find it appalling to hear one of your journalists talk about the attack in such a base and demeaning manner.

Further, it shows ignorance on the part of Mr. Thomas to suggest that the Saudi government is not on the side of the United States in the war on terrorism.  Our two countries have been close allies for decades and have been drawn even closer through the fight against Al-Qaeda.  Our cooperation has been unprecedented, as recently underscored by the State Department’s annual report ‘Patterns of Global Terrorism’.

Mr. Thomas’ remarks are an outrage and a disgrace to the memory of all who have died at the hands of these murderers.  If you ask the families of the many security officers who have been killed while trying to prevent such tragedies from occurring, I am sure that they will tell you just how committed my government is to going after these terrorists.  The death of innocent men, women and children in one of Al-Qaeda’s primary targets is no favor for the United States, contrary to Mr. Thomas’ thoughtless remark.

Saudi Arabia was on the side of the United States before the September 11 attacks, and continues to be on the side of the United States now.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.



Nail Al-Jubeir