In an official letter to Saudi religious leaders, Shaikh Saleh Al-Ashaikh, Minister of Islamic Affairs, said restrictions have been put in place to prohibit unauthorized persons from making speeches at mosques. The order, distributed as part of a new program for the care of mosques and their workers, warned speakers at mosques against making provocative speeches and inciting people.
The letter said that mosques are meant only for prayer, guidance and other pious activities and should not be used as political platforms.
The Government of Saudi Arabia today revealed a number of substantial legal and regulatory changes enacted over the past year to counter terrorism. Important steps have recently been taken to control charitable funds, prevent money laundering, and improve multi-lateral cooperation. In cooperation with the United States and other countries, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been on the forefront of the war on terrorism. Today’s announcement was made to correct misperceptions about the Kingdom in this area.
HRH Princess Haifa Al-Faisal, wife of HRH Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States, today said:
“I heard U.S. lawmakers in the American media today say that money that I have donated to a needy Saudi family living in the United States was transferred to two Saudi 9-11 terrorists.
"My father, King Faisal, was killed in a terrorist act in 1975. I find that accusations that I contributed funds to terrorists outrageous and completely irresponsible.
Saudi Arabia Is Major Contributor to Rebuilding Afghanistan
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today announced that construction has begun on a major road project in Afghanistan. The Kabul - Kandahar - Herat highway, largely destroyed by war, is being rebuilt through a Saudi-U.S.-Japanese partnership. The road project will repair a major transportation artery and will help bring back transportation and trade to the war-torn country. The project is part of a multi-billion dollar effort to the rebuilding of Afghanistan.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced plans to privatize many of its vital economic sectors. Sectors open to privatization include: telecommunications, civil aviation, desalination, highway management, railways, sports clubs, municipal services, health services and government hotels.
Information Minister Dr. Fuad Al-Farsi said the cabinet approved the privatization list upon the recommendation of the Supreme Economic Council (SEC), which is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
HRH Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, urged Muslim youth on Saturday to shun extremism and conduct themselves in a tolerant and temperate manner.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken deliberate action to root out terrorism and shut down its sources of financing. In recent months, the Kingdom has stepped up law enforcement and has expanded multilateral action to crack down on international finance networks that support terrorist organizations.
The “Terrorist Financing” report issued today is an opinion formulated by an independent task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. This opinion is based on false and inconclusive information.
According to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Kingdom’s Ambassador to the United States: “Government officials who are privy to current law enforcement efforts know and appreciate the close cooperation the United States and Saudi Arabia have in the war on terrorism. The Task Force is clearly out of touch with current activities.”
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is encouraged by the efforts that have been made to combat the financing of terrorism, believing that groups posing as charities in order to support and finance terrorist acts cannot be tolerated. Since September 11, Saudi Arabia has conducted a thorough review of its charitable organizations and has taken a number of specific measures:
All charitable groups have been audited to ensure that there are no links to suspect organizations.
(WASHINGTON, DC) - Former FBI Director Louis Freeh testified Tuesday before a joint hearing of the House/Senate Select Intelligence Committees on counter-terrorism efforts and the events surrounding the terrorist attacks of September 11.
Mr. Freeh spoke about the support the FBI received from Saudi authorities in the Khobar Towers investigation, and reiterated the same points that have been made by many other law enforcement and government officials in regard to the ongoing close cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia in the war on terrorism.