Senior official: Saudi detainees have no direct ties to al Qaeda network
None of the Saudi Arabian nationals arrested in the desert kingdom since the September 11 terror attacks has direct links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network, a high-level Saudi official said in remarks published Monday.
"Interrogations are ongoing with Saudis arrested after September 11. It has not been established that they have direct links to al Qaeda," Deputy Interior Minister Prince Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz told Al-Watan daily.
However, Prince Ahmad, who did not disclose the number of those arrested, refused to rule out the possibility that a number of them may have indirect links to al Qaeda. "There are indications that some persons have links to (al Qaeda) members through (ideological) recruitment or facilitating their travel."
Prince Ahmad added that one of the Saudis arrested in the month of June, along with five other nationals and a Sudanese citizen in connection with the smuggling of Russian-made anti-aircraft SAM-7 missiles, worked for a military establishment.
"But it has not been established that he had a direct role in smuggling the missiles. He had indirect links with the smugglers. We can say he had been deceived by trusting one of the network's sympathizers and facilitated what he requested," Prince Ahmad said.
The seven-strong group was allegedly planning bomb and missile attacks in the kingdom, especially against an air base used by United States troops. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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