Statement Regarding Saudi Cooperation with FBI Investigation
February 05, 2003
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reaffirms its cooperation with U.S. law enforcement authorities on matters related to terrorism investigation. In regard to the issue involving Mrs. Maha Almarri, which was reported in the Washington Post today, Saudi Arabia assured the United States in a formal communication that Mrs. Almarri will be made available to U.S. authorities, should they wish to interview her.
U.S. authorities, following the questioning and later arrest of her husband on charges of making false statements, had prevented Mrs. Almarri and her five children from leaving the U.S. During that time, according to her attorney, she was never questioned by authorities nor given information about the time that would be required to remain in the U.S. In addition, the Grand Jury that originally issued a subpoena for her appearance had recessed.
During this ten-month period, with no contact from the FBI, the Saudi Embassy made numerous inquiries to the U.S. government about allowing her to return to her family in Saudi Arabia. Mrs. Almarri had no money or means of economic support. She was suffering from Grave's disease and was in need of medical attention. Her children could not attend schools. To prevent Mrs. Almarri from rejoining her family for such a long period of time is unreasonable and unjust.
Following numerous communications, which did not elicit any response, the Embassy allowed Mrs. Almarri to return to Saudi Arabia, subject to being available for interviews by U.S. officials. She is still awaiting word from U.S. authorities in regard to any questions she can answer to aid in any investigation. The Saudi government stands ready to facilitate any such request.