Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin Sultan called in to Fox News, 'At Large With Geraldo Rivera' on May 29, 2004 to discusses developments in the ongoing terrorist attack in Al-Khobar.
RIVERA: We’re privileged now to have the Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar bin Sultan on the telephone, to give us the latest news from that very dramatic, very troubling hostage situation in the city of Khobar, in Saudi Arabia. Your Highness, thank you very much for being with us this evening. We are hearing reports that there has been an assault on the hostage-takers in the Oasis recreational facility there -- that high-rise residential compound. Can you please give us the very latest and tell us what has happened to the American hostages?
PRINCE BANDAR BIN SULTAN: Thank you, Geraldo. Yes, I can confirm that, thank God, seven American hostages have been rescued. Two are wounded and five are alright. The operation is still going on. There is an exchange of fire, and Saudi security forces have the safety of the hostages as the paramount. However, there comes a time when the right thing to do is to take those people on, definitely we will not negotiate with them or compromise with them.
RIVERA: Any details on how the Americans were released? It would seem to me they would be the last people these hostage-taking, al-Qaeda militants would want to see released.
PRINCE BANDAR: They were not released by the terrorist, evil people. They were rescued by the Saudi security forces. And I think it is because the operation is still going on, I’d rather not comment on that at this stage.
RIVERA: Clearly, they were targeting your ability to produce oil. They want to destabilize your country; they want to terrorize your people and ours and the other free people of the world. Will they succeed in disrupting your pledge to increase Saudi oil production to bring the price of gasoline back down to reasonable levels?
PRINCE BANDAR: You are right. Those people are targeting the Saudi people, the American people, our mutual interests. Those people are evil and they have hijacked a great religion, Islam, and they are neither Muslims nor are they good people or good human beings. The fact is we will never compromise or allow them to succeed. We intend to fight them all the way. I believe, I am confident, God willing, that we will be destroying them. As far as oil is concerned, Saudi Arabia has made the commitment to the world and to our friends in America, and we will keep that regardless of who objects to it, particularly those terrorists. So yes, we will continue with our stated objectives. We have been increasing oil production, but we are calling for 2 more million, hopefully on the third of June at the OPEC meeting.
RIVERA: You know the real target, Your Highness, is the royal family, including yourself. They want your country.
PRINCE BANDAR: That’s true. But the royal family is a member of the Saudi citizenship, they have been killing innocent Saudi people, innocent people from other nationalities, friends who are our guests in our country. The fact that this is their objective, Geraldo, does not mean we should allow them to succeed. We do not intend to allow them to succeed. And I think it will help us a lot if our American friends stand with us at this time instead of questioning our ability to handle them, because we are handling them and we are confronting them head-on. I think we all should be defiant, and every oil speculator come Monday who really want to show their patriotism and their commitment to the fight against terrorism they should be defiant and not allow speculation to bring the oil prices up again, that will be a great answer to those evil people.
RIVERA: Inshaallah…Thank you very much for being with us, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.
PRINCE BANDAR: I have one more comment to tell you, please. I really was very impressed and appreciative of your coverage of the war on terrorism and Afghanistan and Iraq. I wish your colleagues in the media remember that there is no compromise between the enemies of humanity and the people who are fighting them. Yes, they should be neutral, but there is no neutral stand between good people and terrorists. So keep at it, my friend.
RIVERA: Thank you very much, Your Royal Highness. I appreciate your coming on this evening.