Interior Minister: Authorities close to uncovering terror financiers

June 19, 2008

Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz has announced that Saudi authorities are close to uncovering the sources of terror funding in the Kingdom, the Arab News reported today.

Prince Nayef made the remarks in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat published yesterday.

“We have found things (related to terror funding) ... that can be used as evidence against Al-Qaeda’s financial backers,” Prince Nayef told Asharq Al-Awsat. “Without financial backing, terrorists could not have moved as they did.”

Prince Nayef added that further investigations were needed in order to obtain a complete picture, and expressed the hope that the findings would soon be made public.

He also reiterated the Kingdom’s commitment to confronting Al-Qaeda, regardless of the group’s change of tactics and methods.

Prince Nayef said the ideological confrontation of terrorists remains below expectations and that it was essential to on-the-ground security operations. He added that this was the responsibility of educational centers in universities, scholars and thinkers.

He added that everyone must work hard to affirm that terrorists had strayed from the rightful path of Islam and that they had harmed Islam and Muslims. “Terrorism has offended Saudi citizens and it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam,” said Prince Nayef.

On the issue of detainees, Prince Nayef also said that the Iraqi government had promised to turn over the remaining Saudis detained in Iraq. He said that he did not think there were Saudis imprisoned in Iran, but did not rule out the possibility that there might be individuals affiliated with Al-Qaeda detained in Iranian jails.

“Channels of communication are open between Saudi Arabia and Iran at all levels,” Prince Nayef told Asharq Al-Awsat. He said he expected all security agreements between Saudi Arabia and Iran would be implemented.