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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08RIYADH1150
2008-07-26 14:39:00
SECRET//NOFORN
Embassy Riyadh
Cable title:  

SAUDI POLICY ON PREVENTING FOREIGN FIGHTERS FROM

Tags:   AG  EG  IZ  JO  LY  MCAP  MO  MOPS  PGOV  PINR  PREL 
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VZCZCXRO6836
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHLH RUEHPW RUEHROV
DE RUEHRH #1150/01 2081439
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 261439Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8852
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD IMMEDIATE 0692
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE 5316
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH IMMEDIATE 9643
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						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 RIYADH 001150 

NOFORN
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO S/CT DDAILEY AND NEA/ARP WROEBUCK

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/26/2018
TAGS: AG EG IZ JO LY MCAP MO MOPS PGOV PINR PREL
PTER, SA, SU, TU, XF, YM
SUBJECT: SAUDI POLICY ON PREVENTING FOREIGN FIGHTERS FROM
ENTERING IRAQ

REF: A. SECSTATE 50900

B. RIYADH 606

C. RIYADH 649

D. RIYADH 708

E. RIYADH 767

F. RIYADH 1034

G. 07 RIYADH 2408

H. 07 RIYADH 2381

I. RIYADH 754

J. 07 RIYADH 2515

K. RIYADH 1136

L. 2007 COUNTRY REPORT ON TERRORISM - SAUDI ARABIA

M. URETA-MCGRATH E-MAIL JUL 12

Classified By: Charge' d'Affaires Michael Gfoeller
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 RIYADH 001150

NOFORN
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO S/CT DDAILEY AND NEA/ARP WROEBUCK

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/26/2018
TAGS: AG EG IZ JO LY MCAP MO MOPS PGOV PINR PREL
PTER, SA, SU, TU, XF, YM
SUBJECT: SAUDI POLICY ON PREVENTING FOREIGN FIGHTERS FROM
ENTERING IRAQ

REF: A. SECSTATE 50900

B. RIYADH 606

C. RIYADH 649

D. RIYADH 708

E. RIYADH 767

F. RIYADH 1034

G. 07 RIYADH 2408

H. 07 RIYADH 2381

I. RIYADH 754

J. 07 RIYADH 2515

K. RIYADH 1136

L. 2007 COUNTRY REPORT ON TERRORISM - SAUDI ARABIA

M. URETA-MCGRATH E-MAIL JUL 12

Classified By: Charge' d'Affaires Michael Gfoeller
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (S/NF) SUMMARY. The SAG has long been active in stemming
the flow of Saudis attempting to enter Iraq as foreign
fighters, and has been highly cooperative in broadly
addressing this issue with the USG. END SUMMARY.


2. (S/NF) The SAG shares the overall USG policy objective of
establishing a stable Iraq. The issue of stopping foreign
fighters originating in Saudi Arabia has been raised
repeatedly, both directly and indirectly with the SAG as part
of various initiatives over the past several months (Reftel
A). This message has been delivered by U.S. Ambassador to
Iraq Ryan Crocker and Multi National Force-Iraq CG GEN David
Petraeus when they met with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul
Aziz and other Saudi notables in April, and by GEN Petraeus
again in June; by S/I Ambassador David Satterfield in May
with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Chief of
General Intelligence Prince Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and
Assistant Minister of Interior for National Security Prince

Mohamed bin Naif (MBN); and by U.S. Ambassador to Saudi
Arabia Ford Fraker with Prince Saud al-Faisal over the course
of the past few months (Reftels B to F). In all these
discussions, the SAG has uniformly responded affirmatively
regarding its counter-terrorism efforts to prevent the flow
of foreign fighters, as well as the flow of funds for
terrorist financing (Reftels G and H).


3. (S/NF) The Saudis agree on stemming foreign fighters
originating in Saudi Arabia from entering Iraq. Limiting
Saudis' travel to Iraq is part of the SAG's multifaceted
deradicalization/rehabilitation program (Reftels I and J)
which utilizes humane procedures. A Saudi law has been
passed making it illegal for Saudis to travel abroad for
jihad. MOI has made known through the Saudi tribal system
that if a family member or tribal sheikh notifies MOI that
one of its young men is planning to go abroad for jihad and
is turned in before he travels, he will not be prosecuted.
Instead he will be entered into the SAG's rehabilitation
program, which will allow him to eventually reunited with his
family/tribe without stigma. The Saudi Grand Mufti has
condemned foreign fighters and issued a fatwa that those who
travel to Iraq to participate in the insurgency are going
against Islam. The result is this Saudi
deradicalization/rehabilitation program has seen dramatic
success in the Kingdom.


4. (S/NF) MBN always uses this program to showcase Saudi
counter-terrorism efforts. Riyadh GRPO and LEGATT work
closely on a daily basis with the Saudi Ministry of Interior
on counter-terrorism efforts, which include keeping wayward
Saudis from going off to become foreign fighters. DOD and
Post staff personally met with several Guantanamo returnees
in December 2007 who were being rehabilitated, including one
Saudi who was disfigured from a botched truck bomb attempt in
Baghdad in 2005 (Reftel J).

RIYADH 00001150 002 OF 002




5. (S/NF) Saudi Arabia has long taken a hard line with Syria
(Reftels F and K) primarily because of the SARG's close
working relationship with Iran and role in fomenting
instability in Lebanon. This hard policy line has translated
into restricting Saudi travel to Syria. MOI also closely
scrutinizes Saudis, especially young males, returning from
there. Likewise, the Saudi Arabian government has criticized
the SARG in the Arab League and through its bilateral
channels for Syrian support of Hizbollah in Lebanon and for
Syrian actions it views as regionally destabilizing,
including support of the Iraqi insurgency.


6. (S/NF) Regarding the individuals identified in OBJ Massey
(Sinjar Records - Reftel A), Riyadh GRPO has reported back
through its channels the specific results of these
investigations and resultant follow-up.


7. (S/NF) COMMENT. Saudi Arabia has conducted a highly
effective CT campaign within the Kingdom. From 2003 to early
2006, Al Qaeda was carrying out high-profile, violent attacks
in Saudi Arabia in an effort to topple the Al-Saud monarchy,
take control of Islam's two holiest sites - Mecca and Medina,
and establish an extremist regime with control of Saudi oil
resources. The SAG reacted fiercely to this threat. Besides
actual kinetic operations conducted against local extremists,
the Saudi counter-terrorism campaign has also included
defeating extremist ideology through its multifaceted
deradicalization/rehabilitation program and strict monitoring
of travel by young Saudi males. Along these lines, the SAG
is keenly aware of the negative global view, which it is
strongly seeking to avoid, that would arise if Saudi Arabia
were seen as a pool of foreign fighters - hence its strong
efforts to limit the flow of Saudis as foreign fighters to
Iraq. The outcome has been a significant victory in the war
against Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, with the subsequent result
of a drastic decrease in the ability of radicalized Saudis
being able to travel abroad as foreign fighters. END COMMENT.
GFOELLER