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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01RIYADH3968
2001-12-12 13:33:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Riyadh
Cable title:  

SAUDI ARABIA: 2001 ANNUAL TERRORISM

Tags:   PTER  PREL  SA 
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O 121333Z DEC 01
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7440
INFO GCC COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 RIYADH 003968 

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL SA
SUBJECT: SAUDI ARABIA: 2001 ANNUAL TERRORISM
REPORT

REF: STATE 198912



1. FOLLOWING RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS IN REFTEL:

A) POST SHOULD HIGHLIGHT SIGNIFICANT ACTIONS TAKEN BY
HOST GOVERNMENTS TO SUPPORT THE GLOBAL COALITION,
PARTICULARLY ACTIONS TAKEN AGAINST AL-QAIDA AND THE
TALIBAN.

RESPONSE: THE SAUDI ARABIAN GOVERNMENT (SAG) HAS
SUPPORTED THE GLOBAL COALITION AND HAS RESPONDED
POSITIVELY TO VARIOUS REQUESTS FOR CONCRETE ACTION AND
ASSISTANCE. EXAMPLES INCLUDE PROVISION OF OVERFLIGHT
CLEARANCE FOR AIRCRAFT INVOLVED IN OPERATION ENDURING
FREEDOM, THE CUTTING OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH THE
TALIBAN REGIME IN AFGHANISTAN, AND COOPERATION WITH
THE U.S. LAW ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATION INTO THE
SEPTEMBER 11 INCIDENTS. IN ADDITION, SAUDI ARABIA HAS
TAKEN STEPS TO ENSURE THAT TERRORISTS ARE DENIED
ACCESS TO THE SAUDI BANKING SYSTEM AND HAS ISSUED
INSTRUCTIONS TO BANKS IN SAUDI ARABIA TO LOOK FOR AND
FREEZE ACCOUNTS LISTED BY THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL
SANCTIONS COMMITTEE.

B) PLEASE PROVIDE VIVID EXAMPLES OF TERRORIST
INCIDENTS THAT WERE THWARTED, AND TERRORIST CELLS THAT
WERE BROKEN UP DURING 2001 WHICH ARE WELL DOCUMENTED
AND UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE POUCH ANY PARTICULARLY
EVOCATIVE OR DRAMATIC PHOTOGRAPHS THAT WOULD
ILLUSTRATE THESE CASE STUDIES. PLEASE INCLUDE THE
NAME OF THE PUBLICATION IN WHICH THE PHOTO ORIGINALLY
APPEARED AND THE DATE OF APPEARANCE.

RESPONSE: POST HAS NO RELEASABLE MATERIAL THAT IS
RESPONSIVE TO THIS QUERY.

C) DESCRIBE THE RESPONSE OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM TO
ACTS OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AND/OR SIGNIFICANT
ACTS OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM DURING 2001, INCLUDING ANY
HOST GOVERNMENT PROSECUTIONS RELATING TO TERRORISM.

RESPONSE: THERE WAS ONLY ONE SIGNIFICANT ACT OF
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM IN 2001: THE HIJACKING OF A
TURKISH PLANE EN ROUTE TO RUSSIA IN MARCH, 2001. THE
ONLY JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN THIS CASE TO DATE HAVE
BEEN THE DENIAL OF RUSSIA'S AND TURKEY'S EXTRADITION
REQUESTS. (SEE RIYADH 0721)

D) DID THE HOST GOVERNMENT EXTRADITE OR REQUEST THE
EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED TERRORISTS FOR PROSECUTION
DURING THE YEAR?

RESPONSE: NO.

E) DESCRIBE ANY SIGNIFICANT IMPEDIMENTS TO HOST
GOVERNMENT PROSECUTION AND/OR EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED
TERRORISTS.

RESPONSE: NO LEGAL OR POLITICAL IMPEDIMENTS EXIST TO
THE SAG'S PROSECUTION OF PEOPLE ALLEGED TO HAVE
COMMITTED TERRORIST ACTS WITHIN SAUDI ARABIA.
HOWEVER, THE SAG HAS FEW EXTRADITION TREATIES OUTSIDE
OF THE MEMBER STATES OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE
ISLAMIC COUNCIL (OIC) AND THE ARAB LEAGUE. THE
LEAGUE'S ANTI-TERRORIST AGREEMENT, WHICH SAUDI ARABIA
HAS RATIFIED, CONTAINS EXTRADITION ARTICLES.

F) DISCUSS HOST GOVERNMENT RESPONSES OTHER THAN
PROSECUTION. THESE WOULD INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED

TO, PUBLIC STATEMENTS BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS OR
OFFICIAL NEWS AGENCIES FOLLOWING A TERRORIST INCIDENT
(IN OR OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY) AND EFFORTS BY HOST
GOVERNMENT TO INVESTIGATE TERRORIST INCIDENTS OR TO
ASSIST WITH INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM INVESTIGATION.

RESPONSE: THE KING, CROWN PRINCE, MINISTER OF DEFENSE,
MINISTER OF INTERIOR, MINISTER OF INFORMATION, SENIOR
RELIGIOUS LEADERS, AND OFFICIAL NEWS MEDIA PUBLICLY
AND CONSISTENTLY CONDEMN TERRORISM IN UNEQUIVOCAL
TERMS, INCLUDING BY REFUTING IDEOLOGICAL AND RELIGIOUS
JUSTIFICATIONS FOR TERRORISM. IN OCTOBER 2001 THE
GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED THAT IT WAS ACCEDING TO THE UN
CONVENTION ON BLOCKING FINANCIAL ASSETS FOR TERRORIST
ORGANIZATIONS. THE SAG CONTINUES ITS INVESTIGATION OF
THE KHOBAR TOWERS BOMB ATTACK OF JUNE 1996 THAT KILLED
19 U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL. THE SAG IS STILL HOLDING
A NUMBER OF SAUDI CITIZENS IN DETENTION IN CONNECTION
WITH THE BOMBING, INCLUDING SAUDI CITIZEN HANI AL-
SAYEGH. NO PROSECUTION OR ANY OTHER PUBLIC LEGAL
ACTION BEGAN IN 2001 REGARDING THE BOMBING. IN
OCTOBER, 2000, TWO SAUDI MEN FORCED A SAUDI ARABIAN
AIRLINES FLIGHT FROM JEDDAH TO LONDON TO LAND IN IRAQ.
IRAQI AUTHORITIES DETAINED THE HIJACKERS AND RETURNED
THE PASSENGERS AND AIRCRAFT TO JEDDAH. IRAQ DENIED AN
EXTRADITION REQUEST BY THE SAG. NO ONE WAS HARMED IN
THE HIJACKING. SAUDI AUTHORITIES HAVE COMPLETED THE
INVESTIGATION INTO A STRING OF BOMBINGS IN RIYADH AND
THE EASTERN PROVINCE AND HAVE DETERMINED THAT THEY
WERE CRIMINAL RATHER THAN POLITICAL IN MOTIVATION.

G) DESCRIBE MAJOR COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS UNDERTAKEN
IN 2001 BY THE HOST GOVERNMENT. INCLUDE STEPS TAKEN
IN INTERNATIONAL FORA.

RESPONSE: THE SAUDI GOVERNMENT HAS OFFERED ITS FULL
COOPERATION TO THE INTERNATIONAL COALITION AGAINST
TERRORISM. THIS COOPERATION INCLUDES MILITARY, LEGAL
AND PUBLIC RELATIONS.

H) DESCRIBE ANY SIGNIFICANT HOST GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
FOR INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, TERRORISTS, OR TERRORIST
GROUPS, INCLUDING (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) POLITICAL AND
FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF TERRORISTS OR THEIR ACTIVITIES;
DIPLOMATIC SUPPORT THROUGH DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION;
MISUSE OF THE DIPLOMATIC POUCH AND OTHER DIPLOMATIC
PRIVILEGES TO SUPPORT TERRORISM; PROVISION OF
SANCTUARY AND/OR THE PRESENCE OF OFFICES OF TERRORIST
GROUPS; PROVISION OF TRAINING OR TRAINING SITES;
PROVISION OF WEAPONS; AND POSITIONS TAKEN ON TERRORISM
ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL FORA.

RESPONSE: THE SAG DOES NOT POLITICALLY OR FINANCIALLY
SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS OR
ACTIVITIES. ITS REGULATIONS REQUIRE THAT NON-
GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND PRIVATE VOLUNTARY
AGENCIES OBTAIN GOVERNMENT AUTHORIZATION TO SOLICIT
CONTRIBUTIONS FOR DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL CAUSES.
HOWEVER, IT IS NOT CLEAR THAT THESE REGULATIONS ARE
CONSISTENTLY ENFORCED. THERE CONTINUE TO BE
ALLEGATIONS THAT SOME INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST
ORGANIZATION REPRESENTATIVES SOLICIT AND COLLECT FUNDS
FROM PRIVATE CITIZENS IN SAUDI ARABIA.

I) HAS THE HOST GOVERNMENT MADE ANY PUBLIC STATEMENTS
IN SUPPORT OF A TERRORIST-SUPPORTING COUNTRY ON A
TERRORISM ISSUE? (THE SEVEN GOVERNMENTS DESIGNATED BY
THE SECRETARY AS STATE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM ARE CUBA,
IRAN, IRAQ, LIBYA, NORTH KOREA, SYRIA AND SUDAN.)

RESPONSE: THE SAG MADE NO PUBLIC STATEMENTS SUPPORTING
ANY OF THE SEVEN COUNTRIES ON THE USG'S TERRORISM LIST
REGARDING A TERRORIST ISSUE.

J) DESCRIBE ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGE SINCE 2001,
POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE, IN THE HOST GOVERNMENT'S
ATTITUDE TOWARD TERRORISM, INTERNATIONAL OR DOMESTIC.
WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS CHANGE?

RESPONSE: THE ATTITUDE OF THE SAG TOWARD TERRORISM
DID NOT CHANGE DURING 2001.

K) DESCRIBE U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS AND
INITIATIVES WITH THE HOST GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING, BUT
NOT LIMITED TO, REQUESTS TO THE HOST GOVERNMENT FOR
SPECIFIC COOPERATION AND EFFORTS BY THE UNITED STATES
IN THE HOST COUNTRY TO ELIMINATE INTERNATIONAL
FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO TERRORIST GROUPS DIRECTLY OR IN
SUPPORT OF THEIR ACTIVITIES. DESCRIBE THE EXTENT OF
THE HOST COUNTRY'S COOPERATION WITH THOSE EFFORTS AND
INITIATIVES, INCLUDING THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE HOST
GOVERNMENT HAS SATISFIED THE SPECIFIC REQUESTS.

RESPONSE: FOLLOWING A 1995 BOMBING THAT KILLED U.S.
MILITARY PERSONNEL ADVISING THE SAUDI ARABIAN NATIONAL
GUARD (OPM/SANG), A USG INTERAGENCY COUNTERTERRORISM
TEAM VISITED SAUDI ARABIA TO BEGIN UNPRECEDENTED,
COORDINATED, INTERAGENCY CONSULTATIONS BETWEEN THE USG
AND SAG ON COUNTERTERRORISM AND SECURITY ISSUES. THIS
COOPERATION, WHICH ENGENDERED HIGH-LEVEL SAG INTEREST
AND THE PARTICIPATION OF MULTIPLE SAG MINISTRIES, HAS
CONTINUED THROUGHOUT 2001. THE USG AND SAG CONTINUE
TO EXCHANGE INFORMATION ON COUNTERTERRORISM AND
SECURITY ISSUES AFFECTING AMERICAN AND SAUDI INTERESTS
IN THE REGION. CONSULTATIONS AND TRAINING FOR SAUDI
COUNTERTERRORISM AND SECURITY OFFICIALS IN THE UNITED
STATES ALSO OCCURRED. IN THE WAKE OF THE SEPTEMBER
ATTACKS, U.S. AND SAUDI OFFICIALS HAVE MET IN THE
CONTEXT OF INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE TRANS-
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO TERRORIST GROUPS
DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY. THE FBI COORDINATES ITS
INVESTIGATIVE EFFORTS WITH THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR
AND MAINTAINS A PERMANENTLY STAFFED LEGAL ATTACHE
OFFICE IN THE U.S. EMBASSY. IN OCTOBER, 2001, AN
APPARENT SUICIDE BOMB EXPLODED IN AL-KHOBAR, KILLING
ONE AMERICAN AND WOUNDING ANOTHER. THE SAG
INVESTIGATION HAS SINCE REVEALED THAT THE BOMBER WAS A
PALESTINIAN, ACTING ALONE, FOR UNVERIFIED MOTIVES
RELATING TO THE PALESTINIAN INTIFADA.

L) IN ADDITION TO THIS GENERAL INFORMATION, IF THE
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT HAS SOUGHT COOPERATION FROM
THE HOST GOVERNMENT DURING THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS IN
THE INVESTIGATION OR PROSECUTION OF AN ACT OF
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AGAINST UNITED STATES CITIZENS
OR INTERESTS, PLEASE PROVIDE INFORMATION ON:



I. THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE HOST GOVERNMENT IN
2001 COOPERATED OR IS COOPERATING WITH THE UNITED
STATES GOVERNMENT IN APPREHENDING, CONVICTING, AND
PUNISHING THE INDIVIDUAL OR INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE
FOR THE ACT; AND

II. THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE HOST GOVERNMENT IN
2001 COOPERATED OR IS COOPERATING IN PREVENTING
FURTHER ACTS OF TERRORISM AGAINST UNITED STATES
CITIZENS IN THE HOST GOVERNMENT'S TERRITORY.

RESPONSE: (I) THE SAG HAS COOPERATED FULLY IN
INVESTIGATING PARTICIPATION OF SAUDI CITIZENS IN THE
SEPTEMBER ATTACKS AND CONTINUES TO COORDINATE WITH USG
OFFICIALS IN EFFORTS TO HALT THE FLOW OF FUNDS TO
TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS

(II) THE SAG CONTINUES TO DEVOTE CONSIDERABLE HUMAN
AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES TO PROTECT USG PERSONNEL AND
INTERESTS FOLLOWING THE OPM/SANG, KHOBAR TOWERS, EAST
AFRICA BOMBINGS, AND THREATS TO THE U.S. EMBASSY,
CONSULATES AND OTHER U.S. INTERESTS IN 2001. IT MADE
AVAILABLE TO COALITION FORCES THE PRINCE SULTAN
AIRBASE AT AL KHARJ, WHERE MOST U.S. SERVICEMEN IN
SAUDI ARABIA ARE NOW LOCATED, AND A RESIDENTIAL
COMPOUND, KNOWN AS ESKAN VILLAGE, SOUTH OF RIYADH FOR
MILITARY AND CIVILIAN DOD PERSONNEL. THE SAG SPENT
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN FACILITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
IMPROVEMENTS TO ENHANCE SECURITY. THE SAG ALSO WORKED
WITH AMERICAN SECURITY PERSONNEL IN AN ONGOING EFFORT
TO ENHANCE PROTECTIVE MEASURES AT ALL OTHER USG
FACILITIES IN SAUDI ARABIA, INCLUDING THE U.S. EMBASSY
IN RIYADH AND THE CONSULATES IN JEDDAH AND DHAHRAN.
USG AND SAG OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO MEET REGULARLY TO
REVIEW THE SAFETY OF AMERICANS IN SAUDI ARABIA.

M) IF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT HAS SOUGHT
COOPERATION DURING THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS IN THE
PREVENTION OF AN ACT OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
AGAINST U.S. CITIZENS OR INTERESTS, PLEASE DESCRIBE
THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE HOST GOVERNMENT IN 2001
COOPERATED OR IS COOPERATING IN PREVENTING ACTS OF
TERRORISM AGAINST UNITED STATES CITIZENS IN THE HOST
GOVERNMENT'S TERRITORY.

RESPONSE: THE SAG HAS PROVIDED TO THE USG INFORMATION
ON THREATS DIRECTED AT U.S. INTERESTS IN SAUDI ARABIA
AND CONTINUES TO WORK CLOSELY WITH USG AGENCIES TO
PREVENT TERRORIST ATTACKS AGAINST AMERICANS IN THE
KINGDOM. REPORTED THREATS HAVE REGULARLY LED TO THE
RAPID DEPLOYMENT OF EXTRA SECURITY PERSONNEL AND THE
PLACEMENT OF PERMANENT PHYSICAL BARRIERS, CHECKPOINTS,
AND OTHER VISIBLE DETERRENTS.


SCOBEY